We took a trip to a local farmer this week.
I love buying fresh and local when I can. Plus you can usually get some great deals, like this MONSTER pumpkin I bought for $5. I’ve never bought a pumpkin like the one but the lady at the market told me they were great cooking pumpkins.
Did you notice the pumpkin shortage last year? I didn’t until I went to buy a can and all the stores were out. So after the holiday I cooked up my kids’ painted Halloween pumpkins and we were still able to enjoy seasonal favorites like pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin bars.
Even though my local stores seem to be stocking back up this year, the “sale” price of 16 oz. can is almost $2! So rather than paying that price I thought I’d cook up some pumpkin puree again this year. I was able to get about 18 cups (or approx. nine 16 oz. cans) worth of pumpkin puree out of that $5 pumpkin, so it was worth my little bit of work!
It’s pretty easy to make your own pumpkin puree.
1. Cut the pumpkin into manageable pieces (mine was huge so I cut it into fourths).
2. Scoop out the pulp (A spoon or an ice cream scoop work great.).
3. Cook the pumpkin until it is soft and easily pulls apart from the skin. Because I’m a believer of making my appliances work for me, I did this in two ways. I put half face down on a baking sheet and then baked it at 350F. It took about an hour. (Will vary depending on the size of your pumpkin.) While that was baking I put the other quarters in a shallow baking dish with a couple inches of water and then microwaved them until they were soft. It took about 30 minutes in the microwave. (Again, it will depend on the size of your pumpkin.)
4. Let it cool just a bit and then scoop the pumpkin out of the skin.
5. Puree in a food processor, blender, etc. until the pumpkin is smooth.
6. Place in labeled freezer bags and freeze until you are ready to use.