8 Nov 2011

Family Life :: I ♥ Pumpkin - Making Pumpkin Puree from Real Pumpkin

Some people have asked me if we can get canned pumpkin in Poland... Well we can't, which makes those american college days of making pumpkin pie with 2 cans and a pre-made crust seem a distant past... but we have figure out a way to make it work. Here's how...

First i go buy a pumpkin at the market (or local grocery store if i can find one)

Usually i end up buying part of a pumpkin (like the one above), because it's a little easier to cut up. That way you can also see how 'orange' the inside part is... i like the oranger the better!

Scrape out the inside 'goo', then cut it into thinner slices, about an inch thick

Cut off the rind

Then cut into approximately 1inch cubes

From there i either put it into a ziplock bag and freeze for later

Or cook down in a pot right away to make pumpkin purree.
(i usually add about a cup of water and make sure to cook with the lid on)

Making Pumpkin Puree from Real Pumpkin
So here's a recap of what i do:
  1. Scrape out any of the inside 'goo' that doesn't look good
  2. Slice the pumpkin into smaller strips (approx 1 inch)
  3. Cut of the hard rind
  4. Cut the strips (now without the rind) into 1 inch cubes
  5. Place in a saucepan and add about 1 cup of water
  6. Bring to a boil at medium heat and cook until the pumpkin cubes become stringy and easily mash apart (30-45min)
  7. Turn off the oven and leave the pumpkin in the pot until it cools (this continues to cook & break it down a bit more)
  8. Puree the pumpkin in a food processor, blender or magic bullet (or mash it with a potato masher!)
I usually use all of the pumpkin I make within a few days, especially because our 10 month old loves pumpkin as baby food!

Freezing Pumpkin
If i want to save some pumpkin for later (like when it's not in season) I still follow steps 1-4, but then freeze the cubes in a ziplock bag. Then when i want pumpkin i have it! The frozen cubes actually break down more easily than the fresh ones :)