October 28, 2013

D.I.Y. Pumpkin Purée

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Forget the canned stuff. Homemade pumpkin purée tastes pleasantly fresher and lighter. For the richest flavour, I prefer to start with roasted pumpkin. However, you could steam, boil or microwave it.

1 large pie pumpkin (3 lb/1.5 kg), halved, seeded

Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Lightly grease rimmed baking sheet.

Roast pumpkin halves, skin side up, on prepared sheet in preheated oven 45 minutes, or until very tender.

When cool enough to handle, scrape flesh from skin. Transfer to bowl of food processor, discarding skin. Purée until smooth.

Refrigerate in storage tub up to 5 days or freeze portions in zip-lock bags up to 6 months.

Makes 3 cups (750 mL).

  • The recipe is easily adjusted. Just remember that 1 lb (500 g) of pumpkin chunks yields 1 cup (250 mL) of pumpkin puréed in a food processor.
  • Pie pumpkins are the best choices, but you can use chunks from a jack-o’-lantern pumpkin.
  • A serrated grapefruit spoon is a handy tool to scrape out the seeds and stringy fibres before cooking the pumpkin. Discard the fibres. Roast the seeds.
  • If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a potato masher, ricer or food mill to purée cooked pumpkin. When mashed by hand, 1 lb (500 g) of pumpkin chunks yields 1-1/4 cups (300 mL).
  • Canned purée is more tannic and pastier than homemade. Before measuring and using homemade purée for a pie or dip, drain it for 30 minutes in a fine-mesh sieve. You can use it as is for soup.

Steamed Pumpkin
Place chunks in steamer basket set over simmering water. Cover and steam 20 to 30 minutes, or until easily pierced. Cool and peel.

Boiled Pumpkin
Simmer chunks in pan of boiling, salted water 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. Drain, cool and peel.

Microwaved Pumpkin
Place chunks in microwave-safe dish with 1 tbsp (15 mL) water. Cover and microwave on high power 5 minutes, or until easily pierced. Let stand, covered, until cool enough to peel.

Credit: Susan Sampson
Tested in Imperial