Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cooking Pumpkin

We use quite a bit of pumpkin around here. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cookies, you get the idea.

We mostly buy canned pumpkin, but  I wanted to try my hand at cooking and pureeing a 'real' pumpkin. Yes, pumpkin in the can is real, but I think you know what I mean.

First. Start out with a real pumpkin. Paper or plastic will not do.

You will need a pot, a steamer basket, a knife, and willingness to get pumpkin-y

First, lobotomize your pumpkin.

Slice it in half. Which is easier said than done.

Cut it into manageable size pieces.

Scoop out all the seeds. Save them or throw them away, it's up to you. I saved mine for planting next year. some people roast them to eat. Personally, I find roasted pumpkin seeds gross. But to each his own.

then cut out all the strings from every piece. Just cut out about 1/4 inch of the pumpkin to make sure you get every string, strings make for really nasty pumpkin puree.

While you're doing that you should put water in the bottom of a pot, put a steamer basket in it, and set the water to boil.

So once you're done destringing, the water will be boiling and you can set your pieces of pumpkin on the steamer basket.

Steam for 10 - 15 minutes. Or until it looks yellow and cooked.

Then once the pumpkin pieces are completely cool, peel (and throw out the peelings, they're gross, too)  and cube the pumpkin.

Now what a  lot of people do is put their cubed pumpkin in a giant pot and cook it until it's goopy, but I went a faster way.

Blend it!

Make sure your blender can handle this. An every day run of the mill kitchen blender probably can't. A blendtec, Vitamix, Ninja, and that sort of thing probably can.

Ta da

Once you have it all blended and in your pot . . .

Transfer it to a bigger pot, like I did, because I forgot that when pumpkin simmers, it splats all over the place, so you need a pot with high walls.

Cook on low on smallest burner for like . . . 8 hours. Or until there's little water on top and it looks orangish.   Stir every once in awhile so it doesn't burn. That'd be bad.

Then once it's cool scoop into containers and freeze puree. It's ready for another day. Haha. Rhymes.

You can't can pumpkin puree.  Well. You can can it, but you could get botulism if you do. So don't. :)   Pumpkin puree is too dense and too basic (low acidity) to can safely.  Commercial canners can do it because they have these immense pressure cookers that are 10ft tall and have all sorts of lovely gadgets. You probably don't.

So freeze your pumpkin, you won't get botulism, and you'll have pumpkin bread later on. Sound fun?  Good.

I got about 9 cups of pumpkin puree from this one pumpkin.  Now back to writing!


  1. Wow! Lots of pumpkin! I sure to love pumpkin stuff. Especially pumpkin bread. And pumpkin pie. Yum! You sure got a lot of purée out of that one pumpkin, way to go! =)

  2. Wow, I'm gonna have to show this to my sister. Maybe she'll make a pumpkin pie or something. And I agree with you, roasted pumpkin seeds are gross! My family just roasted 5 pumpkin's worth and they've been eating them nonstop! I think I'm the only one who doesn't like them in my family though. I laughed multiple time while reading this post too. Keep up the good work and God bless

    1. Yeah, I don't get it either.

      I'm glad I could entertain. :)

  3. We've done this before-- it takes forever, but having the pumpkin ready in the freezer is pretty awesome. :-)

    1. Indeed =)

      I did this over three days so it didn't become burdensome .

  4. Nice. I didn't know the whole process until now. My parents have done it before, I think -- how else would neat little packages of pumpkin puree get into our freezer? :P But I don't think I've ever helped or watched them do it. Enjoy your pumpkin pie, cookies, bread, etc.!

  5. I miss pumpkin yummies so much! Well... I think I just miss yummy baked goods. But pumpkin cookies are delicious.

    With all the lovely growing Israel does, I don't think pumpkin grows very well here.

    Enjoy your pumpkin yummies for me! :)

  6. Sounds yummy i just made some pumpkin muffins last week but i used a mix cause im allergic to Gluten and its hard to make gluten free muffins from scratch.

    1. Sapphira, I am allergic to gluten, too, so I know your pain. :)