40 Days of Pumpkin Recipes

We will try everything from pumpkin ice cream and pumpkin scones to pumpkin soup and pumpkin lasagna. Have a great recipe? Send it to me so I can try it out!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Day 1 - The Basics - Pumpkin Puree

For the past few weeks I have been dying to make pumpkin bread. I have my fall decorations out, the pumpkin candle is burning, I am trying to pretend it is not still hot outside in October and that it really is fall. I even bought a nice hot pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks and drove around with my air conditioning blasting so that I could drink it! So finally last week I was on a mission to make pumpkin bread.

We have one main grocery store here in Kingsburg (I will not tell you the name of the chain since I am about to slightly bash it.) They have had big boxes of pumpkins out front for a few weeks and of course Halloween decorations and candy in the front of the store for probably a month. I traveled up and down the canned food isle many, many times searching for my canned pumpkin. I looked in the front of the store with the seasonal items. Finally as my children were getting restless I gave up. The clerk as always asked, "Did you find everything you needed today?" I told her, "No, actually, I could not find the canned pumpkin." She let me know which isle it was on and I replied that I had already looked there. She asked the manager who said, "We don't have canned pumpkin, it is seasonal." The clerk and I looked from him to the huge box of pumpkins he was standing next to. We didn't have to say much more. Long story short, I decided to make my own pumpkin puree.

-Purchase medium size pumpkins as free from blemishes as possible.
-Wash Pumpkins
-Cut Pumpkins in half and removes seeds (save them for yummy pumpkin seeds - recipe tomorrow)

- Cut into pieces that will fit in the crock pot (size does not matter and they do not have to be even)

- Jam as much pumpkin in the crock pot as will fit (no need to add water or anything else)
- Cook on low for 4 hours
- Pumpkin is done when it is easily pierced with a fork
- Allow Pumpkin to cool
- Scrape pumpkin from shell and discard shell
- Puree pumpkin in food processor DO NOT ADD WATER (see below for addition info on this step)

You can freeze your finish product in ziplock freezer bags. I would recommend pre-measuring each bag out to 15 ounces which is the same amount in one can of pumpkin. The Pampered Chef has an awesome product called the "measure all cup." It works kind of like a plunger or syringe (you really have to see it in action to understand.) It has measurements from 2 tablespoon - 2 cups all in the same cup (it adjusts).

The only step I had trouble with was puree. The recipe I followed said to use a blender. The pumpkin would not blend without water. I then tried my magic bullet. It also did not work. I am not a fan of the food processor because it is so bulky. But I finally pulled it out. It worked really well except I think next time I will only fill it half full and do a few batches at a time. I think this will give the best results.

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