Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Making Pumpkin Purée

I've never made pumpkin purée before, but I hear that it beats the stuff in a can (no surprise there, but I've never used it).  I had 3 beautiful pie pumpkins that I purchased as backups for my Thanksgiving stuffed pumpkin dish (in case I couldn't find a good sized regular pumpkin).  I knew when I bought them that if I didn't stuff them, I would purée them.  I was really hoping this would end up being the case, I mean, this is how they do it in the mountains, and though time consuming, easy to do!  We are having friends over for dinner tomorrow, and real pumpkin pie will be our desert, yum!

I'm sharing my method for making the purée; even though this is the first time I have made it, I do say it turned our perfectly.  I combined a few different methods to arrive at what I think is the best approach (I know, you are thinking, 'of course Lise is thinking this is the best approach'...I promise to let you know if I'm wrong, but the purée looks pretty darn good to me!).

Here are my 3 small pie pumpkins...

The first step is to wash them and cut off the stems.  Be careful doing this; the stems are tough and your knife can easily slip.  Then cut the top off the pumpkin and cut the pumpkin into quarters.  Scoop out the seeds and stringy parts (save the seeds for roasting of course, click on the link to see how, you do the same thing for pumpkin as you do for acorn squash).  

Slice the cleaned pumpkin slices in half,
 ...and place in a pan, skin side down for those on the bottom and skin side up for those on top.  Add a little water to the bottom of the pan.  Some of the methods said to cover the pan, some said to cook in a crock pot with water, some said to steam on top of the stove...then most said that you have to strain the pumpkin because it naturally has a lot of water...so I said to myself "Self, why not allow the pumpkin to release some moisture while cooking" and that's what I did.  I just made sure to check the pan now and then and add a little water to the bottom as it cooked.  Don't add any seasoning or spices, you want your pumpkin purée to be pure (then it can be used for any recipe).

Cook the pumpkin at 425 degrees until they are fork tender, about 45 - 50 minutes. 

After the pumpkin has cooled, remove the skins (I actually don't know that this step is necessary, when I make pumpkin soup, I leave the skin on and after the immersion blender has done it's thing, you don't know the skins are there!  The skin has a lot of nutrition after all!  But I chose not to do that this time, though I just may try it the next time; this go round gives me the pure purée!)  Sometimes the peel right off, and sometimes you need to scoop the meat free.

Then put the meat into a food processor blend until smooth.  Isn't that a rich yellow (is that a piece of skin I see...)?

I measured the purée and put it into bags based on the "norm" of what pumpkin recipes call for, which is a can or 15 oz. of pumpkin.  This bag has 16 oz. because I figure after scooping it out of the bag, there will be less than 16 oz.  The bag then goes right into the freezer.

I saved another package with 1 1/2 cups in it, for my pie recipe tomorrow.  And I have 1 more baggie for the freezer, with 1 cup of purée.  In total, my 3 pumpkins made 4 1/2 cups of purée.

I'm really glad I made the purée today.  I mentioned earlier that it was not difficult, but time consuming.  Making the purée today put me steps ahead in preparing my menu for tomorrow's dinner.

So that's the story, simple as pie (ha ha, lol, I crack myself up sometimes).  I'll let you know how everything turns out!

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,


Osage Bluff Quilter said...

Here is the recipe we use for our most Favorite pumpkin bread! I really like the flax seed too if you have them. I made them into mini loaves, muffins or big loaves!

Lexie said...

Lise, I am enjoying your blog so much! Like a literal breath of fresh air. Your skillet pie inspired me today to make a skillet crisp. So good. xoLexie

Lise said...

Patti, that recipe sounds great! I'll have to try it, thanks for sharing.

Thank you Lexie, I'm glad you enjoy the blog:) Nice to have you joining me!

Dad/Pepere said...

I'm sure the pie will be the best ever! Hugs!