Leftover pumpkins from the holidays? Don’t throw them out! Those gorgeous orange beauties are waiting to be transformed into pumpkin bread, pasta fillings and soup to name a few! Pumpkin puree is perfect to keep all year round and is a cinch to make. Follow this easy recipe to learn how to cook up your leftover pumpkins!
- 2 whole Small Pumpkins
Select a couple of small-ish pumpkins. Cut the pumpkin in half. With a spoon or a scoop, scrape out the seeds and pulp from the center. You don’t have to be too thorough with this.
Place all the seeds into a bowl (you can roast them later and make pepitas). Repeat until all the pumpkin pieces are largely free of seeds and pulp.
Place pumpkin pieces on a baking sheet (face up or face down; I’ve done both) and roast in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes, or until pumpkin is fork-tender. They should be nice and light golden brown when done.
Peel off the skin from the pumpkin pieces until you have a big pile of the stuff. If you have a food processor, throw in a few chunks at a time. A blender will work, too, if you add a little water. Or you can simply mash it up with a potato masher, or move it through a potato ricer, or process it through a food mill.
Pulse the pumpkin until smooth. If it looks too dry, add in a few tablespoons of water during the pulsing to give it the needed moisture. (Note, if the puree is overly watery, you should strain it on cheesecloth or over a fine mesh strainer to get rid of some of the liquid.)
Dump the pureed goodness into a bowl, and continue pureeing until all the pumpkin is done.
You can either use this immediately in whatever pumpkin recipe you’d like, store it in the freezer for later use.
To store in the freezer, spoon about 1 cupful of pumpkin into each plastic storage bag. Seal the bag with just a tiny bit of an opening remaining, then use your hands to flatten out the pumpkin inside the bag and push out the air. Store them in the freezer until you need them.