In the Kitchen with Fresh Pumpkin Purée

With Thanksgiving next week maybe you are thinking about making homemade pumpkin purée for your pie. Or maybe not. Anyway, don’t do what I did the first time I attempted to make some.

I was in Switzerland and canned pumpkin purée was nowhere to be found. I simply steamed it until tender in the microwave and threw it in the food processor. Then, I thought it would be interesting to skip the traditional pie and made a pumpkin mousse. I soon discovered that the purée was much too watery. Instead of setting up nicely, it both seperated and was more soup than mousse.

Now I know better and share the recipe for a nice thick pumpkin purée! But don’t worry, I won’t tell if you decide to pick up a can of Libby’s at the supermarket. Enjoy!

Fresh Pumpkin Purée
Fresh pumpkin purée is very easy but you must plan ahead. Unless you want soupy purée it needs to drain overnight!
Makes about 3 cups

2 lb fresh sugar pumpkin
Melted unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a colander with overlapping coffee filters or cheese cloth and set it over a large bowl.

Cut the pumpkin in half; scrape out the seeds and membrane. Cut the pumpkin into wedges and brush the flesh side of the pumpkins with melted butter.

Arrange, flesh side down, in a large roasting pan and cover with foil. Bake for 1 hour. Turn the pieces, cover and return to the oven. Cook for 1 more hour or until the pumpkin is very tender. Remove the foil and cool the pumpkin in the pan.

When the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, scoop out the pumpkin and discard the skin. Purée the pulp in batches in a food processor. Transfer the purée to the colander and cover the pumpkin. Set it in the refrigerator and let drain overnight.

If you use a lot of pumpkin during the fall and winter months, particularly over the holidays, double or even triple this recipe. Divide the purée into 1 cup portions and freeze.

Happy Thanksgiving and bon appétit!

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©Susan W. Nye, 2012

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