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Pumpkin Purée

(recipe, Keri Fisher)

Introduction

Because pumpkins are about 90 percent water, the initial purée in this recipe is quite wet. Canned pumpkin has most of that water removed, leaving a very concentrated purée. To achieve the same consistency yourself, don't skip the oven-drying step at the end of the recipe. This step is important, especially if you plan to use fresh pumpkin purée in recipes that call for canned solid-pack pumpkin; otherwise, the excess moisture of your homemade purée will throw the recipe results off.

Ingredients

  1. 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  2. 1 medium pumpkin or 2 small sugar pumpkins (about 8 pounds total)

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with the oil. Remove and discard pumpkin stem. Cut pumpkin in half and scrape out seeds and pulp. Discard pulp and rinse seeds well; set seeds aside to use for Pumpkin Soup.
  2. Place pumpkin, cut sides down, on baking sheet. Cook until pumpkin is tender (a knife goes through the skin easily), about 20 to 40 minutes, depending on size. Set aside to cool.
  3. When cool enough to handle, scrape pumpkin flesh from skin and place in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth.
  4. Spread pumpkin in an even layer on a baking sheet. Bake (anywhere from 350 to 400 degrees will work) until pumpkin is drier and thick, 30 to 40 minutes. When cool, transfer to a storage container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Note

Read more about cooking with pumpkins in Keri Fisher's "The great pumpkin."