Homemade Pumpkin Puree
  • 1-3 2 pound pumpkins, or as many as can comfortably fit in your oven
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Wash pumpkins thoroughly.
  3. Cut pumpkin(s) in half.
  4. Thoroughly scrape out inner seeds, goo, and strands. Reserve all of the innards in an air-tight container for later use (the seeds can be roasted for a crunchy snack, and the goo can be used in stock).
  5. Arrange pumpkin halves cut-side-down on baking sheets or pans. (If your pumpkins are older, add ~½ c water to the pan 10 minutes in to help steam them while they cook. Please only do this if you're using metal baking sheets -- glass pans may shatter if you add water part-way through cooking!)
  6. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until you can easily pierce the flesh with a fork and the skin has developed some dark spots and is easily peeled away from the flesh. Let cool until halves can be handled comfortably.
  7. Scoop out the flesh into a large bowl, discarding any blackened spots. (Note that with thin-skinned varieties, peeling away the skin may be easier than scooping out the flesh. Set aside any parts of the skin that aren't blackened, as you can use it in stock along with the pumpkin innards.)
  8. Puree flesh in a food processor (in batches, if needed) until completely smooth.
  9. You can use the resulting puree as-is, but I highly recommend taking one additional step to reduce the water content and produce firmer puree. Line a colander or fine sieve with paper towels, cheesecloth, or a thin, clean dishcloth, and place it in a bowl or pot to catch the drainage. Pour the pumpkin puree into the lined colander, cover it, and let sit overnight or as long as you can stand it. You want to drain out as much liquid as possible to achieve a firmer and more flavorful product, closer to the texture you find in cans of store-bought pumpkin.
  10. Use your puree in any recipe that calls for canned pumpkin.
  11. You can refrigerate the puree in an air-tight container for up to several days.
  12. If you won't be using all the puree immediately, you can freeze it in air-tight containers, being sure to leave a little head space at the top. Keep a few containers in your freezer, and you won't need to buy canned pumpkin this season!
Recipe by Hell Yeah It's Vegan! at http://hellyeahitsvegan.com/homemade-pumpkin-puree/