Thursday, September 30, 2010

1 Down, 11 New Things To Go

For this month's "12 New Things" I chose to make pumpkin puree. I usually buy Libby's canned pumpkin but because of the "Great 2010 Pumpkin Shortage". Grocery shelves have been void of canned pumpkin for a majority of the year. I have only been able to find it at Sunflower (sometimes) for $2.59 a can.

My mom found these pumpkins at the 99 cent store.Obviously, they were a dollar each. I figured it was at least a cost effective endeavor.

First, I cut the pumpkins into quarters. I has happy to see that the seeds were a good size. I thought they would be smaller. I saved them all for roasting.I put the quarters on a cookie sheet. No oil, no water, just the pumpkin. Then I placed them in the oven at 375 degrees for about an hour. They came out looking like this.I let them cool until I could handle them without burning myself too badly. I was too impatient to let them cool all the way. Nap time is only so long you know.

I was pleasantly surprised that the skin peeled right off without much trouble.Amazing.

I put the peeled flesh into the blender to puree it.
You can see how watery it is. I read that you should put the puree in some cheesecloth in a strainer overnight to let the water out, but I did not have room in my fridge and again, I am too impatient for that. I put it in my cheesecloth (aka new handiwipe) and squeezed it until the water stopped pouring off and it had the same consistency of Libby's.

I put it in 16 oz jars since that is what most of my recipes call for.

The next day I made some pumpkin bread with it to see if it tasted okay. It tasted the same as always - that is a good thing.I got a total of 4 cups of seeds which I roasted using these new recipes. I highly recommend them. These are the best pumpkin seeds I have ever made. *Note* If you try these recipes do not cook them for as long as they say. Mine were done in nearly half the time.

Here are my thoughts on making your own pumpkin puree:

Although the process is simple, it is very time consuming and messy. I should have taken a picture of my kitchen while I was doing it. There were pumpkin seeds, pulp, and pumpkin run-off water ALL OVER the place. I tried to keep the mess under control but seriously, it was bad.

This may be a better activity for when your house is freezing and you are trying to save on electric bills. The kitchen got so hot that when I went into the garage to get something, it was actually cooler in the garage.

I had 6 pumpkins total and got 6 jars of puree. 1 jar = 1 can so I saved $9.54. (not bad) I wish I could can them but pumpkin is one of those low acid foods that must be processed in pressure canner. I will have to store them in the freezer.

You will feel very Amish while making this. It will make you want to churn your own butter.

The color of the puree was much lighter and more yellow than the store bought. Just an observation. I am wondering is cooking it longer would darken it.

So, although I enjoyed trying this out. I don't think this is something I would recommend - unless of course you are truly too poor to buy the canned pumpkin or you have an ungodly amount of time on your hands - which, I apparently do because I just bought 6 more pumpkins at the 99 cent store:) I figured I should take advantage of pumpkin season while I can and enjoy pumpkin baked goods all year round.

1 comment:

  1. I've done that once before. Not sure I'll ever take the time again, but it's fun to try. :)