Last year when I carved my Halloween pumpkin, it dawned on me that I might be able to make my own pumpkin puree from it. I mean, everyone knows that you can roast the seeds, but make pumpkin puree? Genius! I googled recipes on how to do it, and then realized that puree comes from specific types of pumpkins.
This year, I didn't want to miss out on the fun, so I stocked up on Pie Pumpkins and Sugar Pumpkins. At such low prices at farm stands, I could not justify not making my own puree. The recipe is super easy to follow and do, and involves only a pumpkin, a little cooking spray, and olive oil if you are only roasting the pumpkin instead of pureeing it.
The great thing about making your own puree is that the recipe yields 2 separate results. The first is a roasted pumpkin, which you can use in so many different recipes, especially risottos and curry dishes. If you want the puree though, you take the roasted pumpkin, peel the flesh from the rind, and mash it up nice and good. If you prefer, you can even put it through a food processor, which I find to be unnecessary, as long as the pumpkin becomes soft.
I love roasting and pureeing my own pumpkins mostly because I can freeze the results in specific measurements to use in recipes later, but also because I love pumpkin seeds! This year, along with making homemade puree, I also experimented with various pumpkin seed recipes that I made up in my little ol' head. I have to admit that my favorite is still a seed with a sprinkle of salt, but Jack loved my recipe involving pumpkin seeds with lots of cinnamon and sugar. Try it out sometime!
So, I learned my lesson from the year before, and will definitely continue to make homemade puree in the future! Simple and delicious.
1 pie or sugar pumpkin
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, and cut pumpkin in half. Clean pumpkin of seeds and stringy middle. Reserve the seeds for roasting. Lay the pumpkin skin side up. Put olive oil on flesh if so desired, though I find that it isn't always necessary. Bake in the preheated oven for 40-55 minutes, until skin easily pulls from flesh.
Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Seeds
Seeds from Pumpkin, cleaned and washed
3 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 cup of sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and dry seeds. Spread seeds on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Combine the cinnamon and sugar together. Sprinkle on seeds evenly, and bake in a preheated oven for 15-25 minutes, until seeds are no longer wet. The sugar will caramelize on top of the seeds, and create a deliciously sweet treat for all to enjoy!