This page shows you how to process pumpkin and make pumpkin puree. You have grown beautiful pumpkins in your garden and you carved some for Halloween. What do you do with the rest? You process them and make delicious pies, cookies, pumpkin bread, and muffins! Here is an excellent video put up by Paula Deen that I am including on this page because it is done so well. This is exactly what I do. Enjoy!
First wash any dirt off of the outside of the pumpkin and dry the pumpkin. Place parchment paper on a large cookie sheet. Put your food processor together. If you do not have one, you can use a blender. I have used both to make pumpkin puree.
Cut the top off of the pumpkin with a sharp knife and remove. Now cut the pumpkin in half from top to bottom. With a large metal spoon, scrape out all of the seeds and stringy pumpkin pulp, also known as pumpkin guts, and place them in a bowl. Scrape the pumpkin good, leaving the flesh attached to the orange pumpkin shell.
Place the pumpkin halves, cut side down on the parchment covered cookie sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes, until a fork can easily go through the pumpkin.
Remove the pumpkin from the oven and let cook completely. Peel off the outer orange rind of the pumpkin completely. Cut the cooked pumpkin flesh into pieces and place in your food processor or your blender. Process until soft and smooth.
If you are processing in your blender, you may need to add just a splash or two of water to allow the blender to move. The first time I made pumpkin puree, I did not have a food processor so I used my blender and nothing happened until I added just a bit of water to allow the blades to move.
If you are not going to use all of the pumpkin puree immediately, refrigerate for a day or two and then use it. You can also place in ziplock freezer bags and store it in your freezer for up to six months. Defrost in your refrigerator or place the sealed bag of puree in cold water in your sink for quick defrosting.
Use the pumpkin puree any time a recipe calls for canned pumpkin. Just measure it out. For instance if a recipe calls for one 15 ounce can of pumpkin, use two cups of pumpkin puree. Easy and tastes fresh and delicious.
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