It’s that special time of year when many of us dutifully ensure that our pantries are stocked with the essential ingredient needed to get our seasonal pumpkin fix: Pumpkin Purée. Everything from pies and muffins to soup and chili, pumpkin becomes a staple in most homes during the cooler months.
I remember one year, while in the thick of transitioning to zero-waste, I was obsessed with finding a way to reuse anything I could get my hands on. This eventually turned into a borderline hoarder situation since I didn’t have the time for every the project I planned. It wasn’t all bad though, I found myself especially grateful earlier this year when I needed to whip up an at home Pumpkin Spice Latte.
My obsession turned out to be pretty beneficial when, as part of our tradition of carving a Jack-o-lantern, I would cut and roast old Jack the very next day. Then, purée him… Every year since this has been our tradition. One year, I bought a pumpkin that was so big the canned pumpkin purée lasted From October to September the following year.
Now there are many different verities of pumpkin and they will each vary in taste. I found that the smaller pumpkins (sometimes labeled as baking pumpkins) do taste better. However, once cooked and seasoned in your dish, I haven’t noticed a big difference.
So here we go.
What you need to roast the pumpkin:
- A pumpkin – I like to carve our Jack-o-lantern during the day on Halloween and roast it the next morning. That way, it will limit the amount of breakdown for the pumpkin.
- Ummm, well that’s pretty much it.
- Preheat oven to 325* F.
- Cut up your pumpkin and place skin side down on oiled baking sheets. If you remembered to save the carving scraps you can add that to the batch. And, remember to save your pumpkin seeds to roast.
- Bake in the oven for about 1 hour until the skin is dark and bubbly.
- Let cool just enough until you can handle the pumpkin. Then, peel the skin away. I used a spoon to help.
To make purée:
- Cut roasted pumpkin into chunks and toss into a food processor or high-speed blender.
- Add a few splashes of water (about 1/4 C.) and purée.
- Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Freeze in a glass jar for up to 6 months. Leave 1/2 inch space between the puree and lid!!
- Learn to can for even longer storage!
So do you have a favorite way to use pumpkin? I’m really into making it in a savory dish. Comment with your favorite recipe below.