Wednesday, November 30, 2016

DIY Pumpkin Puree

I get my hoarding tendencies from my mama. As soon as pumpkin puree is available in store, I stock up. You know that come November, the stores will be hard pressed to fulfil the demand for pumpkin pie supplies (I like that that rhymes). And sure enough, in the American section of Tesco, there is my trusty Libby's pumpkin puree--for £1.20 each. So perhaps pumpkin puree in moderation this year.

As part of my efforts to experience a New England fall in England, a group of friends and I went apple picking which became pumpkin picking which became hauling apples, pumpkins, spaghetti squash, broccoli, cauliflower and eggs home on the train.

I chose a small-ish pumpkin but let it sit on my table for two weeks as decoration before tackling how to cook it. Simultaneously, my mom was preparing her harvest for freezing so we each approached pumpkin roasting differently.

I used a peeler, much like for a butternut squash, and peeled the pumpkin skin off before slicing it in half, remove the seeds, and roasting. Basically just like a butternut squash. Alternatively, my mom poked a lot of holes in her pumpkins and roasted them whole. Good news: none of them exploded!

After the pumpkin is cooked, I used an immersion blender (yes, I took another step in planting roots here, I bought an appliance) to puree the roasted pumpkin. It's much yellower than the burnt orange you get in the canned variety but it does the trick. I stored a couple bags of pumpkin puree in the freezer and have been using it slowly for smoothies, muffins and soup!

So if you find yourself lacking canned pumpkin puree, it's extremely easy to DIY. And please don't call me Martha Stewart or Mary Berry as a result, it's actually easy.

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Peel your pumpkin rind using a vegetable peeler.
  3. Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and strands, just like you would when making a jack-o-lantern.
  4. Cut the pumpkin into large chunks. Toss with olive oil and roast in a pan (I used a brownie pan, 9x12) until soft (around 30-40 minutes depending on the thickness).
  5. Allow the pumpkin to cool slightly before blending.
  6. You can use an immersion blender or a regular blender to puree the pumpkin. Blend until smooth.
  7. Store in the freezer until needed or directly in the fridge. There are no preservatives so make sure to use it within a week. 

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