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How to Make Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkins

You can use pumpkin puree in any recipe that calls for canned puree too. As a general rule, 3 pounds of fresh pumpkin will yield about 3 cups of mashed and cooked pumpkin. Below are four different methods for making puree.

Microwave

  1. Halve pumpkin; remove seeds and cut pumpkin into 1-inch cubes. Place in a shallow 2-quart dish and cover tightly with plastic wrap, leaving an opening for steam to escape.
  2. Microwave on HIGH (100 percent power) for 20 to 25 minutes or until pumpkin is tender. Give the dish a quarter-turn every 5 minutes.

Bake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Rinse the pumpkin under cool water to rid the skin of any residual dirt and dry well with a clean towel.
  3. Cut the pumpkin in half. Remove the seeds and stringy fibers with a metal spoon or ice cream scoop. Save the seeds for toasting, if you like, and discard the innards.
  4. Rub the cut surfaces with oil. Place them, cut side down, in a roasting pan and add 1 cup of water to the pan.
  5. Bake in the oven until the flesh is tender when pierced with a knife. This takes approximately 90 minutes.
  6. When tender, remove the pumpkin halves from the oven and place on a flat surface to cool.
  7. Once cool enough to handle, but not cold, scoop out the pumpkin flesh.
  8. Puree the pumpkin in a food processor, in a food mill, with a hand held blender or by hand.
  9. Pumpkin flesh holds a lot of moisture. Line a sieve or fine mesh colander with paper towel or a coffee filter and set over a deep bowl. Let drain for about 2 hours and stir occasionally.

Boil

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
  2. In the meantime, rinse the pumpkin under cool water to rid the skin of any residual dirt and dry well with a clean towel.
  3. Cut the pumpkin in half. Remove the seeds and stringy fibers with a metal spoon or ice cream scoop. Save the seeds for toasting, if you like, and discard the innards.
  4. Cut the pumpkin into evenly-sized smaller pieces and peel.
  5. Add to the boiling water and cook for about 25 minutes or until the flesh is tender when pierced with a knife.
  6. Puree the pumpkin in a food processor, in a food mill, with a hand held blender or by hand.

Steam

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil that will hold a vegetable steamer or colander.
  2. In the meantime, rinse the pumpkin under cool water to rid the skin of any residual dirt and dry well with a clean towel.
  3. Cut the pumpkin in half. Remove the seeds and stringy fibers with a metal spoon or ice cream scoop. Save the seeds for toasting, if you like, and discard the innards.
  4. Cut the pumpkin into evenly sized smaller pieces and peel.
  5. Place the pumpkin pieces in a steamer or metal colander and over the boiling water. Cover and let steam for about 50 minutes or until the flesh is tender when pierced with a knife.
  6. Puree the pumpkin in a food processor, in a food mill, with a hand held blender or by hand.

To Freeze

  1. Once the puree has cooled entirely, place in freezer containers or ice cube trays. Leave room at the top (headspace) of the containers or individual ice cube compartments. Label, date and freeze the puree for future use.

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