A few weeks ago I bought a “pie” pumpkin at the farmer’s market with the intention of making my own pumpkin purée. Well, today we woke up to snow (technically we went to bed to snow last night) and I thought “Today’s the day to make pumpkin purée!” I’m happy to say, it was a success and I want to share my experience with you!
Since this was my first time making my own pumpkin purée and roasting seeds, I turned to King Arthur Flour as my source of information and guide. They are experts in more than flour!! (no, they’re not paying me to say this!)
Here’s my pie pumpkin:
First, preheat your oven to 350°F. Now let’s get to it.
Here’s what it looks like inside. You’ll want to scoop out the seeds.
After you have the guts out, place the two halves, cut-side down, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake until it’s easily pierced by a fork.
While the pumpkin is baking, you can work on the seeds. Add water to your bowl of seeds and stir in a circular motion for about 30 seconds. This is so cool – the seeds rise to the top and the stringy stuff sinks to the bottom. Then you can skim the seeds off the top and drain in a colander.
Now you can season the seeds. I divided mine into two batches. I tossed both batches with olive oil. To one batch I added kosher salt. To the other I mixed in some hickory barbecue seasoning. Spread the seasoned seeds onto a lightly sprayed baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes, until golden brown. Mine actually took just under 40 minutes!
Now back to the pumpkin.
Now you’re almost to the purée part!
You will most likely need to let some moisture drain from your purée. You can use a cheesecloth, coffee filters, paper towels or I used a thin towel nestled into my colander. Drain for 30 – 45 minutes or until it’s thick.
And presto! You have delicious and economical homemade pumpkin purée to use in recipes and tasty pumpkin seeds to snack on! You can freeze the purée, if you don’t want to use it within a few days of making it.
UPDATE 11/15/13: I just measured my purée and my pumpkin yielded 6 cups of purée! Talk about economical – the pumpkin only cost $1.50, as did all the pie pumpkins at the market. I’m not sure how much mine weighed but I’m guessing at least 5 pounds. A 15-ounce can of pumpkin has about 2 cups of purée in it. I don’t know what the going rate of canned pumpkin is these days, but I’m pretty sure 3 cans would cost me more than $1.50!