Fresh Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin Puree-2I really like the convenience of canned pumpkin.  There’s usually no extra additives and it’s just so nice to have a few cans sitting in the pantry ready when you need them.  Pumpkin Puree-13

While I like canned pumpkin – I LOVE cooking with fresh pumpkin.  This is the one time of year that I will commit to a little extra kitchen work to make up a batch of puree.  When I came across this pumpkin at the Farmer’s Market with the sign “Best Pumpkin for Pies”, I felt the urge to take them up on it.  We’ll just have to see about that!

This is a Long Island Cheese pumpkin.  It has an unusual shape and color - even the name is intriguing!
This is a Long Island Cheese pumpkin. It has an unusual shape and color – even the name is intriguing!

It was a little surprising that they claimed that such a big pumpkin was “Best for Pies”.  I’d always been of the mindset that the cute little Sugar Pumpkins were the best because they were the sweetest.  Hmmmm . . . . interesting.

I thought I’d try a couple of different ways to cook my pumpkin this time.  Usually I roast the pieces in the oven but I have recently gotten a pressure canner and thought it would be neat to pressure-cook the pumpkin.

-First, I sliced the pumpkin into large chunks (this was a big pumpkin!) and cleaned out the seeds and strings from the middle.Pumpkin Puree-5

-Then I laid  half of the chunks onto a baking sheet and roasted them for 45 minutes at 350˚ in the oven.

-I took the biggest portions and placed them in my pressure canner/cooker on the rack with about 1″ of water in the bottom of the pan.Pumpkin Puree-6

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The verdict?

While it was fun trying out the pressure cooker for the first time, I found it wasn’t any faster than the oven method.  Heating up the cooker to 15 lbs of pressure took a lot longer than I thought.

Only at 5lbs
Only at 5lbs

The pumpkin cooked for 15 minutes at 15lbs and then it took almost another 15 minutes to cool and release the pressure on the cooker.  About the time I could pull the lid off of the pressure cooker, the pumpkin in the oven was done.  And it was beautiful.  The edges were brown and it smelled wonderful.  Pumpkin Puree-10

I think oven-roasting is the way to go for me.  The pumpkin in the pressure-cooker seemed much more watery and I really do love the flavor of roasted vegetables.  I think it helps to boost it’s natural sweetness.

(Yes, I know you can also cook pumpkin in the microwave but that’s not something I’m really interested in at this time.)

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-Once your pumpkin is cooked, it’s very soft and easy to scoop from the outer rind.Pumpkin Puree-11

-Scoop pumpkin chunks directly into your food processor, blender or food mill to puree to the desired consistency.  Pumpkin Puree-12

-Spoon puree into freezer-safe ziploc bags in 1 c. and 2 c. portions for easy use in recipes.  Pumpkin Puree

And oh boy, do I have some recipes for pumpkin!  Coming soon . . . .

So how does this pumpkin do in pie???  I guess you’ll have to stay tuned for the next post on Emily’s Pumpkin Pie!Pumpkin Pie 2013-14

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-IMPORTANT NOTE!  You can NOT can pureed pumpkin!  Okay, okay you really should not can pumpkin puree.  The USDA has decided that the consistency can vary and it’s such a low-acid food that they could not determine a “safe” canning time.  You may, however can pumpkin chunks!

4 Comments

  1. Hey Emily! Do you know what kind of pumpkin that is? Might be fun to try to grow some! My mom grew up in FL and she says she had NEVER seen an orange pumpkin until she married my dad (from MO). They only had peach/butternut colored pumpkins. I bet this one is like the kind they used to have when she was little. I can’t wait to show her this post!

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