Is it me, or is canned pumpkin ridiculously expensive? I recently saw one for $3.99! Are you serious? And if you want organic...forget about it. But what's a girl to do? What's a pumpkin pie-loving, pumpkin bread french toast-making, generally gourd-addicted girl to do? Why, make homemade pumpkin puree, of course!
I'd never done this before, just to get that out of the way. I'd heard of those folk who said, "Just spend 50 cents a pound on a big 'ol pumpkin you'll have more puree than you'll know what to do with." But I always kinda treated that notion with the same "Yeah, right" attitude as I did homemade hummus, homemade bread, and homemade veggie patties..."Shyeah. That all sounds so easy," I'd think with sarcastic disdain. However, of course, I was being silly (as usual). These things are easy...and way-the-fuck-and-gone cheaper to do at home.
Today, I will roast a pumpkin.
Start out with a nice lookin' punkin' that's not too big. And try to steer clear of the "jack-o-lantern" pumpkins...they don't taste as good. Here's my behemoth gourd (I spent 4 bucks on it):
Pretty, huh? Too bad it's about to get ugly...you'll see.
Take a SUPER sharp knife and *carefully* cut this dude in half. DON'T CUT YOUR FINGERS OFF! Squashes are notoriously difficult to cut through (that's why they last so long in storage...good tough skin) so seriously, sharpen your knife before you attempt this, ok? I don't want you to run up to me on the street with half your hand missing.
Cut it in half, going around the stem. Then scoop out the seeds and smooshy stuff and place your pumpkin halves cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. You may have to smash 'em a little, but just cram them on there...this is why you need a smallish pumpkin. Mine barely fit:
Throw that baby in the oven and let it rock n' roll for about a hour at 400 degrees or so. Err on the side of over-roasted in order to avoid problems removing the skin. You want them to look like this:
Blackened, deflated, sad in general. I told ya my pretty pumpkin was gonna get mussed up.
Now, let it cool. Seriously. Bandages on hands make Shelley a sad panda.
Later, pull the pumpkin flesh away from the skin (it should be real easy) and toss the chunks into a bowl. Your kitchen may look like a war zone:
Now, to blending! You want nice, smooth pumpkin for all your gourd-obsessed pursuits, so be patient with your blender. I found the pureeing process to work best on the lowest speed:
Pour your bountiful autumn yumminess into big freezer bags, being sure to squeeze out as much air as you can (air space leads to freezerburn, which leads to yucky). Label your bags if you're neurotic and toss 'em in the freezer:
I got 3 giant bags of pumpkin puree outta that 4-dollar thang! WOW!
I'm gonna make so much pie....