Thursday, October 29, 2009
I was flabbergasted the other day to discover that several of my friends have never had the luxury of tasting pumpkin pie made from fresh pumpkin puree. I am no Martha Stewart by any means (she would faint at the condition of my kitchen cupboards, and my window treatments would no doubt give her acute dyspepsia), but home made pumpkin puree was so simple, so utterly worth the small effort, that I had to blog about this miraculous dream-inducing squash.
To start with, you'll need one regular sized pie pumpkin. Pie pumpkins are smaller than a volleyball, and are sweeter than the kind you would purchase for carving jack-o-lanterns. (They are extra sweet if you have an extra sweet little guy to help you.)
Using a sharp knife (insert rant here about the dangers of using dull knives), cut your pumpkin in half lengthwise.
Use a sturdy spoon to scrape out the seeds and pumpkin filaments.
Don't throw those seeds away, as you can use those too! (Blog post pending about Toasted Pumpkin Seeds)
Place your pumpkin halves in a 9x13" pan, and pour about an inch of water into the bottom. If your pumpkin halves are too big to fit, it's perfectly acceptable to cut your pumpkin into smaller wedges. (Remember, no M. S.'s here. We can be wild and flamboyant with how we cut our pumpkins.)
Cover with foil, and bake in the oven at 375 degrees for about an hour. The pumpkins should be fork-tender through the skin, and shred easily into a bowl.
That's it! You can freeze any leftover puree you might have, or use is right away for a pie or enchilada sauce or spice bars.
(If you prefer your puree smooth, you can blend the pumpkin in a blender or food processor, but I found that just using it straight like this adds a nice texture to stuff, and you can't really taste all that much difference.)
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