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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Making pumpkin puree

pumpkins are best enjoyed
with a pirate hat
I recently was telling my co-worker about how I was roasting pumpkins.  She stopped me mid-sentence and reminded me of the great pumpkin overdose of 2009 and how she hoped that didn't happen this year. Last year, I only roasted one pumpkin but so far this year, I have roast FIVE little sugar pumpkins.

The first round of puree, I used it for pumpkin curry soup, pumpkin doughnut muffins and pumpkin lasagna. I roasted two more that I'm saving the puree for pumpkin pasta, pumpkin cheese cake parfaits and salted pumpkin caramels WHICH reminds me, anyone in Bend have a candy thermometer I can borrow?

I have no idea why I'm obsessed with the flavor of pumpkin but usually by Thanksgiving, I'm ready close that chapter for the year with a slice of pumpkin pie. I'm also a big fan of the pumpkin spiced latte but at $4 a pop, I usually only treat myself to one a couple times a season.

So why roast your pumpkin and make your own puree instead of buying the canned version? Well, all things taste better when they are homemade and it's a cheaper way to get organic pumpkin puree.

My method, buy the sugar pumpkins (Trader Joes and Whole Foods had both organic and regular sugar pumpkins). These are best for baking/puree. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Split the pumpkins in half and scoop out the seeds and guts. Place the halves cut side down in a roast and roast for 90 mins or until the flesh is tender. Let the pumpkins cool and then scoop out the puree. I have a handy stick blender that I use to puree it. If you're not going to use right away, freeze your puree.

The best pumpkin pie recipe? Buy a Trader Joes sugar pumpkin and follow the recipe on the sticker. You'll thank me later for this tip.

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