It's that time of year to start making everything under the sun taste like pumpkin. In order to do this, you must first start out with a good pumpkin puree. No, I'm not talking about that nasty canned junk. I'm talking about freshly made, pure, full-of-flavor REAL pumpkin puree. It is so easy to make, and makes a huge difference in both texture and flavor in all pumpkin-based dishes.
To make this puree, you need sugar pumpkins. Sugar pumpkins are small, sweet, and have a ton of flavor. They are definitely much more desirable to use than the larger carving pumpkins. If you make a puree using carving pumpkins, it will turn out bland and stringy.
The seeds of the sugar pumpkin are also ideal for roasting. The shells are crisp, and easily chewed. The seeds of carving pumpkins are tough.
This recipe makes roughly 5 1/2 cups of puree.
What you need:
2 sugar pumpkins
How to make it:
1. First, cut your sugar pumpkins in half, from top to bottom. Save the seeds if you want for roasting later.
2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or a silicone mat.
3. Lay the pumpkins cut side down on the sheet.
4. Roast in a 350 degree oven for an hour, or until they can easily be pierced with a fork. The skin may be wrinkled.
5. Let the roasted pumpkins cool, then scoop out the insides and put into a blender or food processor. Blend or process until smooth.
This puree will keep for 6-8 months in the freezer, and up to a week and a half in the refrigerator.