Our kitchen is going to be busy this week, as we start getting ready for Thanksgiving. On the "to make" list for the next couple days are cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Today we're making pumpkin puree for the pie.
To make your own pumpkin puree (instead of using store-bought canned pumpkin), first wash the outside of the pumpkin, and remove the stem.
Carefully cut the pumpkin in half, and scoop out the strings and seeds (save the seeds for roasting!).
Place the 2 halves cut side down on a oiled pan that has a rim. Add 1/2 inch of water to the pan, and bake for about 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and pour off the water. Turn the pumpkin halves cut side up, and place back in the oven until the pumpkin is very soft and can be pierced easily with a fork.
Let the pumpkin cool until you can handle it easily. Scoop out the flesh, and puree in a blender or food processor until the pumpkin is very smooth.
If you'd like the puree to be thicker, you can strain it using a cheesecloth (or similar), or you can spread the puree on a cookie sheet and bake until it thickens (be careful not to overcook if you use this method).From what I've read, you can store the puree for about a week in the refrigerator, or freeze for up to a year. In our house, it doesn't last that long (grin)!!