How to Make Pumpkin Puree

What’s fall and winter without some pumpkin-based goodies? I mean, is it just me, or is not the best part about the quickly approaching frost the fact that you get to eat pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, and pumpkin bars, fresh and warm from the oven?

Our family loves pumpkin goodies and shells out a little bit of effort to save some bucks over our treats. Today’s experiment: Pumpkin Puree.

You’ll need:

One gigantic pumpkin or several little ones
A large knife
A sturdy metal spoon (or probably ice cream scoop)
Cookie sheets
A food processor or blender (food processor is better, but we did it just fine last year with a blender)
A measuring cup

  1. Cut your pumpkin in half.  Big, burly husband does this for me because he far exceeds me in the area of muscular strength.
  2. Use your scooping device to scrape out the pumpkin guts. If you want, save those pumpkin seeds to sprinkle with salt and toast in the oven.
  3. Cut your pumpkin into small pieces and lay said pieces skin side down on your cookie sheets. I managed to get all our pieces on two cookie sheets.
  4. Heat your oven to 350 and stick those suckers in. Let them stay in there for about 2 hours. I took ours out a little earlier because some pumpkin juice leaked out and was filling the house with smoke.
  5. After 2 hours, they should be done, but you can poke a piece with a fork to make sure. Remove your cookie sheets from the oven and let them sit out so that the pieces can cool.
  6. When they are cool enough to pick up, peel off the skin and break the pumpkin meat into smaller pieces.  Throw them straight into your food processor or blender.
  7. After you get a good amount ready to go, puree the pumpkin.  You may have to use a utensil to push down some chunks.  (Turn off your machine before doing this)
  8. Use your measuring cup to scoop two cups of your pumpkin puree into a small freezer bag.  Two cups gives you about the same amount as one 15-oz can of pumpkin puree that you’d buy in the store.
  9. Continue pureeing the pumpkin in small batches until you are finished.  Place your stockpile of goodness in the freezer where it will wait to give you joy at a later time.

After following these steps, I had 1/2 cup pumpkin puree leftover.  I would highly suggest that, if this happens to you too, you go ahead and make some pumpkin cookies.

NOTE: This is only cheaper if you can get a pumpkin before the prices sky-rocket around Halloween.  Our pumpkin cost $3.25 and we got five bags of puree, so we saved about 2 or 3 dollars.

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