My Mom used to cook regular old pumpkins to make pies and baked goods so I decided to do the same. You do not need “pie pumpkins” specifically. I cooked one large 12 lb. (approximately) and got roughly 24 cups of pureed pumpkin. That’s equivalent to about 12 cans of store bought Libby’s pumpkin at $2.99/can. So I’ve saved $35.88 simply by cooking one of our uncarved Halloween decorations, I LOVE that!
The process is quite simple. You will need a food processor. My Mom tried using a blender but it was too thick to completely puree.
1) Cut the pumpkin in half. Scoop out all of the seeds and connective stuff.
2) Place cut side down on a large cookie sheet with sides. I added water to the bottom of the pan as when I originally started roasting the pumpkin I could hear sizzling. I did not want the edges to become browned or caramelized so I added just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan.
3) Roast in a 350′ oven. I cannot tell you exactly how long to bake as it depends on the size of the pumpkin. You must bake it until the flesh is very soft. This took a good amount of time for the huge pumpkin I roasted. It took a little over an hour and a half.
4) Remove the pumpkin from the oven and carefully flip it over to release the steam/heat.
5) Scoop out the flesh and put it right into the food processor. Reserve some of that cooking liquid from the bottom of the pan.
6) Puree in the food processor, add a small amount of water if it’s too thick.
7) To freeze, first label and date quart size freezer bags. Remove as much air as possible from each bag. Freeze and use in recipes like Whole Wheat Pumpkin Spice Bread, Traditional Pumpkin Pie, or one of my absolute favorites Pumpkin Squares with Cream Cheese Frosting. As good as these recipes are with canned store bought pumpkin, they’re even better with freshly made pumpkin.
Have a great week!