Homemade Pumpkin Puree
It’s a Pumpkin-a-Thon around here, so brace yourself. It is against blogging rules to get stuck on one topic. So, it you are a rule-follower or don’t like pumpkins, you may want to come back next week.
I’m getting my pumpkin on just in time for Thanksgiving.
If you want to make pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin roll, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin soup or pumpkin muffins, you’ll need some pumpkin puree.
I had to know.
Is there really a difference?
Does homemade pumpkin puree REALLY taste any different than the store bought stuff?
Once it’s baked into a pie, bread, or cookie is it really better? Really?
Everyone on every blog everywhere says it’s better.
I’m a skeptic.
I also don’t want to waste time on something that isn’t necessary. If you read the ingredients on a can of pumpkin you’ll soon agree that there’s nothing in the can that can be considered a health risk. After all, the only ingredient in canned pumpkin is pumpkin.
BUT… there’s the can. And we don’t want Alzheimers, so avoiding cans is a good thing.
But does homemade pumpkin taste better?
Since I don’t have any friends who make their own pumpkin puree, I made my own.
Here’s how to do it:
Go get your hands on some “pie pumpkins.” There are many different varieties of pumpkins. Some were made just for pies. From my research it seems that any pumpkin can be used to make pumpkin puree, but the “pie” or “sweet” varieties will net a superior product.
There are 2 ways to cook pumpkin:
- Stick the whole pumpkin in the oven on a cookie sheet & bake it 350 degrees until fork tender (about 2 hours)
- Slice the pumpkins up & bake them at 350 degrees for 1 hour
If you go with Door #1 (baking the pumpkin whole) – First bake it. Then let it cool. Then slice it in half. Then scoop out the membranes & seeds….
If you want to cut up the pumpkins first & then bake them – Here’s how to do it:
First, lop the top off your pumpkins. Then, scoop out all the seeds and membranes.
Please, don’t throw the pumpkin seeds to your chickens. Save them in a giant bowl and do this with them. You will be glad you did!
Slice all the pumpkin halves into quarters and spread out on baking sheets.
Bake the pumpkin hunks until fork tender (about an hour).
After the pumpkin hunks cool the peel will come right off – easy.
Toss the pumpkin pieces into a giant bowl and use a food-processing wand to blend it into puree. Add a couple tablespoons to water if your pumpkin is especially dry.
Side note: I did taste it as I was bagging it. It tastes like baby food. Squash baby food. Am I the only mom who tasted her baby’s pureed food? Is that weird? I suppose I would have not tasted quite so much baby food if I hadn’t decided to be super-mom and make every bite my second child ate from scratch.
She never once ate baby food from a can, jar or anywhere. She only ate the stuff I made for her. Since Gerber wasn’t controlling the taste/quality/goodness I had to. So, that year, I ate a lot of baby food. I was quality-control.
Here is what it sounded like in the kitchen as I was
eating bagging the baby food I mean, pumpkin puree:
Me: “Yuck, this tastes like baby food.”
My daughter: “Why are you eating it?”
Me: (licking my finger again) “Wow, it tastes just like baby food.”
My daughter: “Stop eating it.”
Me: (eating some more) “Squash, it’s squash. This tastes just like squash baby food!”
My daughter: “Mom, stop eating the pumpkin.”
Homemade pumpkin puree tastes just like squash baby food.
Now that we have some pumpkin puree – let’s bake something with it & see if it tastes different!
Homemade Pumpkin Puree
- Pie or Sweet pumpkins
Remove seeds and membranes from pumpkin. Cut into 1/4’s and place on a baking sheet. Bake 3450 degrees for 1 hour (or until pumpkin meat is fork tender). Remove peels. Blend baked pumpkin meat in food processor or with food-processing wand until creamy (add a couple Tbsp water if too dry to blend). Transfer pumpkin into freezer bags & freeze up to 6 months.
Wanna know if the homemade stuff is better?
Well, stay tuned.
Pumpkin bread Canned V/S Homemade is next in line to go live!
The Pumpkin Contest Here.
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Happy Thanksgiving Week,