Prepare Pumpkin for Baking

Last weekend my husband and I went to the pumpkin patch, and picked up a couple pumpkins. We bought one large one for the front porch, hopefully we will carve it before Thursday! While there, we also bought a smaller pumpkin meant for baking. I had made pumpkin treats before (check out my pumpkin chocolate chip cookies), but I have always used canned pumpkin. I decided to try out some pumpkin recipes using pumpkin puree from a fresh pumpkin.

Most the recipes I found online all followed this same procedure, so I decided to test it out. Now, this took a bit of work. We didn't really have a great knife for the task, so my husband's hands were pretty sore after cutting up the pumpkin. But, the puree tasted great in the muffins I made! I think adding the fresh pumpkin puree takes baked goods to the next level. The other great part was that even from my small pumpkin, I had enough for the muffins and some leftover to freeze. I'm planning on making a pie with the rest of the puree nearer Thanksgiving.

So while you are enjoying last minute trips to pumpkin patches and Halloween festivities, don't forget to buy an extra pumpkin to bake with!
  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Clean pumpkin and cut off under the stem
  • Cut the pumpkin in half
  • Remove the seeds and membrane with a spoon
  • Cut into thinner strips, at least 4 strips in each 1/2
  • Place the pumpkin strips onto baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Bake for 40-45 mins
  • Allow to cool for a few minutes
  • The skin should peel back fairly easily, you can use a knife if needed
  • Cut the pumpkin up into chunks and place in a food processor
  • Pulse the pumpkin until a smooth consistency - add water if it is too dry (we had to add almost 1/4 cup water)
  • Use the puree, or freeze it for later use. Measure it out into ziploc bags, with 1 cup in each bag - this way you can pull them out of the freezer and know exactly how much is in it.
  • Roll the puree in the ziploc to get all the air out

Make sure and check back this week for the recipe for the pumpkin muffins I made with this puree.

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