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Time has flown so quickly, I can’t believe it’s almost the end of October.  For me, it signals the time to turn on the oven and start baking.  My family loves pumpkin desserts and in the past I’ve always used canned pumpkin which is perfectly fine.  But this year I decided to try making my own pumpkin puree just for the fun of it.  Looking online to see what varieties would be suitable, it appeared most bakers preferred small pumpkins which are supposed to be a bit sweeter for pies and desserts.  I found it to be a fairly easy process, just scoop, bake, peel and puree.  I can’t wait to test it out with some sugar and spice to see how it tastes.  So what do you think, are these pumpkins cute or what?


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Slice the top off with the stem


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Slice in half and scoop out the seeds.  I snipped some of the stringy parts with kitchen shears which made for an easier job.


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I quartered them and set them on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil.  It makes for easier cleanup.  Save those pumpkin seeds to season and bake for a tasty snack.  I checked several recipes and found that you can  bake pumpkins anywhere from 350 to 400 degrees and from 45 minutes to an hour.  I decided to go in the middle at 375 degrees and it took about 50 minutes for the pumpkin to be soft enough to easily put a fork in it.


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Each of these pumpkins had a slightly different color and texture inside.  The darker one in front was actually easier to peel, while the lighter color needed a knife to peel the outer shell.


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This was one of the easier ones, just got it started with the knife and it just peeled away from the flesh.


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Fill your food processor with cubed pumpkin and begin to puree away.  I needed to do this in 2 batches.


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If the texture appears too dry, add some water 1 tablespoon at a time until you get the consistency you want.  I added maybe 3 tablespoons to this batch and 1/4 cup to the 2nd batch.


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I’m going to freeze this puree until I need it.  I decided to fill sandwich size bags with one cup each.  Most recipes use 1 or 2 cups so that should make it easier.


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I filled my cup and scooped it into the bags.  Press all the air out and zip lock tight.


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These 2 little pumpkins yielded 7 cups of pumpkin puree.  That should keep me busy this fall!


Pumpkin Puree 

Cut the top of of 2 small pumpkins.  Slice in half and scoop out seeds and pulp.  Use kitchen shears to snip any stringy pulp that becomes difficult to remove.  Slice each half again and lay on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 – 60 minutes.  Check with a fork after 45 minutes to see if pumpkin is soft.  If needed, let bake additional time until the pumpkin is cooked through and fork tender.

Let cool, then peel the skin from the pumpkin quarters.  Dice pumpkin and place in a food processor.  Work in batches if necessary.  Pulse pumpkin until you have a thick smooth consistency.  If pumpkin is too dry, add water a tablespoon at a time pulsing after each addition.

Package pumpkin puree into zip lock freezer bags, press the pumpkin flat to release air from the bag, then seal.

Freeze for future recipes.

Makes 6 – 8 cups.