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Adventures in the Kitchen and on the Road

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Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree

I love that this is the time of year for pumpkins. Why don't groceries offer them year-round? Seems like we can get butternut and acorn squashes all winter long. Why not sugar pumpkins? Then I could have Kaddo Bourani whenever I wanted (or whenever I could wait 3 hours for dinner to be ready anyhow). I don't have any ground lamb at the moment so I haven't made that dish yet this year. But I've been roasting pumpkins and using the mashed pumpkin in other dishes. Definitely enjoying it!

So here's a post telling you how to roast a pumpkin.

2 small sugar pumpkins

  1. Start with a small sugar pumpkin. Don't pick those big ones that you use for carving jack-o-lanterns. The smaller ones tend to be sweeter than the big ones. Try to get one that doesn't weigh more than 3-4 pounds. I like to roast 2 at a time. Wash the pumpkin under warm water, scrubbing away any dirt.

  2. Using a sharp knife, cut the pumpkin in half. Be careful not to cut yourself.

    pumpkin cut in half

  3. Scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp and set aside in a bowl. We'll roast those later in another post.

    cut pumpkins with seeds removed

  4. Place the pumpkin halves cut-side down in a large baking pan. Pour in enough water to cover by about 1/4 inch.

    Pumpkins in roasting pan

  5. Bake at 325-350°F for 45-60 minutes (depending on size) or until tender. You're done if a fork can easily pierce the flesh. When I took it out of the oven, then the pumpkins started to wrinkle up as they met the cooler air.

    Roasted pumpkin halves

  6. Remove from oven. Use a spoon to scoop out the insides. Save the pumpkin flesh and discard the skins. I could easily mash up the pumpkin with just a spoon at this point.

    pumpkin puree

Store in refrigerator in an airtight container. Now use it as an ingredient whenever you need pumpkin puree. The canned pumpkin seems to have less liquid so there might be some difference but so far I've just been using my fresh pumpkin puree wherever canned pumpkin is called for in recipes.

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Oh wow, neat! Thanks for this post, now I won't feel bad when all I want are the seeds.

Where does one find sweet pumpkin anyway? Farmers markets probably, but this is the last weekend for them coming up. Do grocery stores just toss all pumpkins together and I'm just going to need to look for small ones?

Most of the stores will mark which ones are pie pumpkins and keep them separated.
My local Walmart has a whole bin of them, and so does the local greengrocer.

Looking around, it seems that pumpkin freezes well too so I guess I'll have to get a few more pumpkins to freeze for later.

I don't know if Mexican grocery stores are commonplace in your neck of the woods, but you should be able to find pumpkins there.

Year-round? That would be awesome! Though now that I think about it, I can't think of any Mexican grocery stores off the top of my head. But I bet if I did a search there must be one in the Boston area...

Pumpkins seem like a MASSIVE deal in America / Canada but not so much in the UK. They are normally just "pumpkins" around Halloween time but never specific kinds of pumpkin like sugar pumpkin / pie pumpkin or whatever.

I had thought identifying it as sugar/pie pumpkins was already being specific but apparently there are much more specific names for the different varieties of pumpkins. Buy I've never seen them sold in grocery stores by such specific names. Pumpkins seem to be a huge deal at Halloween for carving them and then leaving them on your doorstep to rot. And then popular again at Thanksgiving for pumpkin pies. But I'm thinking people just use canned pumpkins for their pies because I couldn't find any fresh pumpkins in the stores by mid-November. Sad.

If pumpkins are just another vegetable in the UK, do you get to have them year-round?

I get the same results by cutting the whole pumpkin up in cubes, cutting the skin off and boiling in a small amount of water and draining.
Same results...though I guess roasting is less work because you don't have to cut the whole thing up.
The reason I do it that way is because I often can't get whole pumpkins here. Instead they come cut up in strips and packaged in the fruit and veggie section.
I love pumpkin everything.

You could still roast them. Same deal, more pieces.

This looks very usedul and I'd say more if a kid weren't talking to me.

:) The kid's probably saying more interesting things than I am anyhow

Yum! I also will grate pumpkin and use it in recipes - when I'm too lazy to roast.

Oh...what kind of recipes do you use your grated pumpkin in? And you grate it? Or shred it? Neat idea.

i always seem to burn the seeds whenever i try to roast them. :) i don't thnik pumpkin seeds are in the cards for me.

also, i dry roast my pumpkin. in smaller wedges. skins down. more opportunity for that yummy roasted carmelized goodness + less liquidy. i pretty much only make pumpkin baked goods with the finished product, so i measure out the amounts i need and freeze them for a later date.


one of my favorite soup recipes. i use a serrated peeler to peel the skin off the pumpkin. sharper than just a regular peeler, though if you've got a good regular peeler, you can use it somewhat effectively to get the skin off but maybe less effectively on other things when you're done...

i paired this with a little truffle honey. soooo. good.

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