Roasted Pumpkin Puree

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Roasted Pumpkin Puree (2)

I am one of those people who likes to make my own way in life. This includes preserving, freezing, grinding my own coffee beans that have been roasted by my young friend from church, and making my own chocolate cake and sauces. This is not to say that I never use stuff from the grocery freezers and shelves, but in general, I prefer to make my own. It makes me feel self-sufficient, as though my army of canned and frozen goods, and locally roasted, freshly ground coffee can help me conquer the world. Lead on, O Kitchen of Homemade Goodies…Charge!

One of those things I faithfully do myself is canned or frozen pumpkin, made from real pie pumpkins. Not those soft-skinned pale-fleshed orange monsters waiting to be carved into some ghastly grinning caricature, but the deeply hued, sweet-fleshed little pumpkins that are actually developed for baking. I love the deep orange tones of the finished product and the flavour is superb. It’s a perfect rainy day project while you’re writing blogs or something, or you can easily do it in an evening if you’re planning to freeze it.

Roasted Pumpkin Puree (5)
Look at that smooth golden goodness just waiting to be used in something  delectable!

There are different methods of cooking the pumpkin; my mom used to halve them, peel them and cut them into large chunks into a large kettle, and for a number of years I did it that way too. But it’s hard and awkward to peel pumpkin, and when I discovered the roasting method later, I was quickly sold on it. It’s a matter of washing the pumpkins, breaking off the stems, cutting them in half and scraping out the seeds. Then you tip them upside down on a large baking sheet lined with foil, pour about an inch of hot water around them and bake them at 350°F for 60 to 90 minutes, until they’re soft when you poke them. I let them rest about 10 minutes, then turn them over and scoop out the pulp. Put the pulp into a blender or a large pot if you’re using an immersion blender. Blend it until there are no lumps left. Either scoop it into boxes for the freezer or into pint jars if you’re canning it. Now here’s the kicker; it takes three hours to can, unless you have a pressurized canner. Because of the low acidic nature of pumpkin and no preserving agents like sugar, salt, or vinegar, it takes that long to seal and stay sealed. Believe me, I know this from personal experience. It’s always a toss-up for me; the ease of freezing, then trusting my faulty memory to take it out of the freezer a day or two before I want to use it, or can it for three hours and have it at my fingertips at a moment’s notice. Sometimes I do both. This time I took the easy route and froze it. Now I’m going to use it in these delicious Pumpkin Buttermilk Waffles with Apple Topping!

Roasted Pumpkin Puree (4)
I divided the pumpkin into 1 1/2 cups measures to freeze because that’s about right for a lot of things!

This post is sponsored by  Martin’s Family Fruit Farm, and these pie pumpkins can be found there, as well as many other seasonal goodies. Come and check them out!

Pie pumpkins (also known as sugar pumpkins) are much sweeter than than the larger carving pumpkins. Their flesh is also less watery and stringy,  firmer, and more orange than the jack-o-lantern pumpkins. They are frequently sold with squash at farm markets. They are the best for pies and other baked goodies!

Roasted Pumpkin Puree

Ingredients

Roasted Pumpkin Puree (5)

  • 3 pie (sugar) pumpkins
  • boxes for freezing or pints for canning
  • lids

Directions

Preheat oven to 350° F. Wash the pumpkins, then break off stems and cut them in half. Scoop out the seeds with a large sturdy spoon or ice cream scoop. If you like to eat roasted pumpkin seeds, here is your chance to make as many as you wish! Line a large baking tray with foil and tip the pumpkins cut side down on the tray. Pour 1 inch of very hot water around the pumpkins and carefully slide tray into the oven. Bake for an hour or more, until the pumpkins are soft when poked or pricked. Baking time will vary depending on the size of the pumpkins. Cool for 10 minutes until they are easier to handle. 

Turn them over, scoop out the pulp and run it through a blender in batches or put it in a large pot if you’re using an immersion blender. My mom used a manual potato masher. Blend until no lumps remain. Scoop into 2 cup boxes to freeze and cover, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace for expansion or into sterilized pint jars, if canning. Boil the snaplids for 5 minutes, leaving on simmer while filling the jars. Wipe the rim of the jars thoroughly, centre the lids on top, then lightly screw on the rings. Place the jars in a canning kettle and pour hot water in up to the bottom of the necks. Cover. Heat the kettle on high until the water boils, then turn down heat to a low boil and set timer for 3 hours. You may need to add more boiling water at some point. When the timer goes off, turn off the heat and allow jars to sit for 10 minutes before removing onto a towel-covered surface. Let sit for 24 hours before washing up and moving to a cool dark place. I got 8 cups of puree from my three pumpkins that I divided into 6 boxes with 1 1/2 cups in each.

One thought on “Roasted Pumpkin Puree

    […] waiting to be roasted. I roasted the pumpkins, pureed them, and posted how to do that for you here. I’m just nice that way. Then I added an apple topping made with the ever-popular and […]

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