Making Pureed Pumpkin
Cut a 9-10 pound pumpkin in half through the stem portion; you’ll need a very sharp knife for this. Scoop out and discard all the strings and reserve the seeds for toasting if desired.
Grease a large shallow baking pan with Pam or shortening, then arrange the pumpkin halves, cut side down, in the pan; prick the skin with a sharp knife to let excess moisture escape. Bake, uncovered, at a preheated 350 for 1-1 ¼ hour, or until the flesh is very tender when pierced and the skin yields easily to light pressure. Let the pumpkin cool.
Scoop out pulp and either whirl to a puree, 1 or 2 cups at a time in a blender or food processor, or mash thoroughly with a potato masher or run through a food mill or a meat grinder. When nice and smooth, set the puree in a wire strainer and allow the excess water to drain off. Let it drain for 30 min, or until the pumpkin looks like thick mashed potatoes; drain well so the puree will not be watery.
Cover and refrigerate the pumpkin puree for up to 2 days or freeze (up to 1 year).
2 cups of cooked puree is equal to a 1 pound can of canned pumpkin; use exactly as you would the canned puree in your favorite recipe.
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Fresh Pumpkin Seeds
- Vegetable shortening (or Pam cooking spray)
Clean fibers off the seeds and rinse well. Place the seeds in a bowl of lukewarm water to cover, stir in a generous amount of salt (2 t per cup of seeds); stir to dissolve the salt. Let soak for 4-6 hours at room temp.
To toast, grease baking sheet very generously with shortening (or spray very well with cooking spray). Drain seeds then spread them in a single layer on greased sheet; sprinkle lightly with salt if you wish. Bake at 300 until golden, crispy brown and somewhat puffed. Serve warm.