Hot Polka Dot
19Oct/11

How To… Er… Wednesday: Easy As Pie.

I have been told that Pumpkin Pie baked with real pumpkin puree is far superior to the canned pumpkin puree. Since I'm pretty new to the whole Pumpkin Pie experience I thought I'd test that theory. Making pumpkin puree was pretty easy so I thought it was worth sharing with everyone.

First you have to get yourself a sugar or pie pumpkin. They're the smaller ones anywhere between the size of a five pin bowling ball to a ten pin bowling ball. They're usually darker than a jack-o-lantern pumpkin with more pronounced ridges and a straighter stem.

You might think that you can just buy a smaller jack-o-lantern pumpkin and bake it up just fine. True, you could, but you'd get the best results with a pie pumpkin. Jack-o-lantern pumpkins are grown for their thin flesh and stringy insides to make them easier to carve. Pie pumpkins are grown for their thick flesh and taste for best results in baking.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the center. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.

Snap off the stem and, with a large sharp knife, slice it in half vertically. With a spoon scoop out the insides of each half to expose the hard dense flesh. Lay the halves on the baking sheet so the outer skin is facing up and bake them for about 45 – 60 minutes depending on the size of your pumpkin.

You'll know they're done when you can pierce the skin with a fork without much resistance. Flip them over to expose the flesh and let them cool to a temperature that makes them comfortable to handle.






































With a spoon scoop out the flesh and discard the tough skin. In a food processor blend the pumpkin flesh until it's a smooth consistency free of any lumps. To remove any excess water strain the puree in cheesecloth for a few hours. You'll be left with rich thick pumpkin puree worthy of any recipe you want to add it to. There you go! Easy as... ahem... pie!

And make sure not to throw away all those glorious pumpkin seeds! I'll show you what you can do with them soon.








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  1. Yes! Homemade pumpkin puree is FAR superior. Too bad my husband thought he was being so sweet and bought me home a 6 lb can of pumpkin last week. Soooo, now I have to use that all up… Then, THEN I’ll roast some legit pumpkin, can’t wait! Your pictures are AMAZING!

  2. Great recipe. Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. This looks so good..awesome photos as always!!!

  4. I need to try this! I always used canned. No doubt this is way better!

  5. Just found this on tastespotting.com – the pictures are GORGEOUS!!!!

  6. I always buy canned pumpkin, I should really try to make my own. I have heard it is so easy, and it sounds so good too!

  7. I love making pumpkin puree although sometimes it seems so easy to grab a can from the store…

  8. Interesting, my mom has always peeled the pumpkin and then just boiled it and mashed it. I wonder if the flavor is very different between the two methods.

  9. I’ve been doing this for a long time now and have to say, it is far superior to canned. I sell baking and get great reviews on any of my pumpkin recipes I make. :)

  10. This is great. I use pumpkin puree in my morning shake. I was using yogurt, but found that I have some problems with dairy. The pumpkin puree is perfect! The fiber in it helps to keep you feeling full & Pumpkin is very good for your health. I am growing some pumpkins and can not wait for fall to try this. I use canned until then. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us!!


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