Monday, October 24, 2011

~Pumpkin Puree~

This recipe for pumpkin puree, courtesy of chef Paul Bergeron, is used to make his delicious pumpkin pecan-praline pie.

The Martha Stewart Show, November Fall 2007
  • Yield Makes 1 1/2 pounds

Ingredients

  • 7 to 8 pounds Long Island Cheese or sugar pumpkins, washed and stems removed

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut pumpkins in half crosswise; scoop out seeds and discard. Place pumpkin halves, flesh side down, on prepared baking sheets. Transfer to oven and roast until easily pierced with a knife, about 1 hour. Let cool slightly.
  3. When pumpkins are cool enough to handle, scoop out flesh from skin; discard skin. Place pumpkin flesh in the bowl of a food processor; process until smooth.
  4. Place pumpkin puree in a mesh strainer set over a large bowl. Transfer strainer and bowl to refrigerator; let drain overnight. Discard liquid. Use pumpkin puree immediately, or store in an airtight container refrigerated, up to 2 days, or frozen up to one month.
It's a good thing...or is it?

I enjoy making things from scratch.  When I put my energy into a recipe by doing as much as I can by hand, the food tastes better and I'm typically satiated more quickly.  Throw in the added bonus of locally grown (right here at Paradise Basin) and then it becomes a coveted item at our house.

At Thanksgiving last year, our first totally homemade pumpkin pie emerged hot from our oven with incomparable results.  The texture of homemade pumpkin puree is creamier with a slightly more intense pumpkin flavor. In contrast, canned pumpkin is thick and jelly-like in texture.  Real pumpkin puree tastes authentic simply because it's the real deal. 


Photo Gallery

Lumina, Fairytale Pumpkins, Jarradale, crook-necked pumpkins and a few others are great for pureeing too.  The larger size of these pumpkins will give you far more puree than what you'd get from a smaller sugar pumpkin. However, I like using sugar pumpkins when making a pie as they are a bit sweeter.     
Jordan did a great job at cleaning the pumpins.
  Nine little sugar pumpkins are halved, seeded and ready for roasting.
While the pumpkins roasted in the oven, the house began to smell of fresh, warm pumpkin.  After they cooled, I scooped out the flesh and got ready to use my food processor for the final pureeing.
As you can see, the pumpkin flesh is chunky.  The food processor will take care of that after a few minutes of pureeing. 
Voila.  The sugar pumpkin puree is complete. 
In order to remove the excess liquid, I let the puree sit in my chinoise overnight in my refrigerator (inside of a bowl to catch the liquid). 
The next morning the puree was ready.  Smooth, creamy and beautiful. 

~Hooray for Pumpkin Puree~

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