Making Pumpkin Puree From Scratch/Preserving Pumpkin and Winter Squash

I grow pie pumpkins specifically so I can make my own pumpkin puree to use in the plethora of pumpkin recipes I prepare at this time of the year.  Puree is so easy to make, it's hardly a recipe, but if you've never made it before, here are the quick and easy steps.  I also do the same for our winter squash - butternut, acorn, delicata - whatever we have.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prepare the pumpkins or squash by cutting the in half, lengthwise, and scooping out the seeds and strings {I use an ice cream scoop}.  Save the seeds if you'll be roasting them, or, if you have chickens, they will be thrilled to receive this great gift.

Place the halves, cut side down, in a baking pan.  Add about 1/2 inch of water to each pan.  Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until skin is easily pierced with a fork.  {I've had some butternuts take as long as 1 1/2 hours, but not very often}

Remove to a cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature.  Peel the skin away from the flesh, or, alternatively, scoop out the flesh.  You can mash with a potato masher or puree in a food processor to achieve your desired consistency.  If you are using within the week, the pumpkin/squash can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

For longer storage, place in a freezer-safe container or plastic bag and freeze.  If you'll be using it for specific recipes throughout the year, measure it and place the amount needed in a container.  Label it so you know later.


REIFYN said...

I often bake squashes and smaller pumpkins by just putting a few holes in the outside near the top, then bake the whole thing on a baking tray. It really locks in all the moisture so it doesn't dry out--though it takes a little longer than cutting them in half. One of my favourite things at this time of year is to carefully carve a face in the rind (not al the way through!) before baking; then you've got a baked Jack-o-lanturn.

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Ha - I LOVE that you carve a face before roasting them. That's too cute! Great tips. Thank you for sharing. :)