I found out how to do this a couple of years ago and have been doing it ever since. I love Pumpkin baked goodies, but don’t like to buy the puree cans at whatever price it is….and I don’t like food to go to waste.
*NOTE: Jack-o-lanterns are made to grow bigger, much like a watermelon and so their flavor is a bit diluted. Adding a bit more of pumpkin spice, makes everything just as yummy as using the canned pumpkin/cooking pumpkin.
First: Carve & Cut
I only let them sit for a day or two at most. I don’t want to let them go moldy and then have to waste the pumpkin. So we carve our pumpkins the day of Halloween or day before, then day after Halloween we cut up & cook.
Cut up into Big chunks
I clean the pumpkin & then I cut off any bits that may look even the slightest discolored. If the skin is scarred I don’t worry because we’ll be slicing that part off.
Second: Choose method of steaming/cooking
I actually do all three, because they all take time & combining means I can finish quicker.
When time is about done, check pumpkin by stabbing with a fork. Easy go in = done.
1 – Place big pumpkin chunks in 9×13 pan & add a bit of water in the pan for steaming purposes.
2 – Cover with tin foil & put in oven.
3 – Bake at 400 degrees for 40 – 60 minutes.
(A med/large pumpkin fills two 9×13 pans)
1 – Put a couple of cups of water in big pot.
2 – Add big chunks of Pumpkin.
3 – Cover & boil/steam for 15-20 min.
C) Microwave steam
1 – Put big chunks of pumpkin in Big glass bowl.
2 – Add two inches of water
3 – cover & cook for 20-25 minutes.
Third: Slice & Blend
Let Cool before slicing skin off. Slice skin & any hard spots off.
Blend till smooth
*I let the pumpkin sit in the blender for 10 minutes to help the water seep out. The steaming/cooking fills the meat with a bit of water & letting it seep out increases the flavor.*
Fourth: Measure out & Freeze/Use
I measure out 4 cup increments & put in Quart Freezer bag, label & freeze.
4 cups = Large can of pumpkin (28-32oz)
Use like regular pumpkin puree
When making pumpkin pie, or things similar in flavor…I add more pumpkin pie spice. When using in cookies & bread, I add a touch more of the spice the recipe recommends.
1 med/large pumpkin made ABOUT 5 cups of puree
Less detailed instructions:
1) Carve & Cut into big chunks
-bake: 400 degrees 45-60 minutes
-microwave: cover, add water 20-25 minutes
-Boil/Steam: cover, add water 15-20 minutes
3) Slice skin off & Blend
(let sit to seep water out)
4) Measure & Freeze/Use