Monday, September 3, 2012

How to Make Pumpkin Purée

I make this versatile Pumpkin Purée with fresh, orange-fleshed North American pumpkins, but the method easily applies to other varieties such as Queensland Blues, Aussie Dollinks!

Dundee: "That's not a knife. That's a saw."
Cut pumpkin into large chunks. This can be challenging. Unless you have muscles like Popeye, it’s not easy to sever the skin of a hefty pumpkin. That’s why I often use a hand-saw instead of a knife. To quote Crocodile Dundee: “That’s not a knife. That’s a knife!” (To make your little heart flutter, catch the romantic scene below. Somehow, I cannot imagine Dundee saying: “That’s not a knife. That’s a saw!” But a saw is what I use.)

Now you have two choices. Toss the chunks into a food steamer (for a photo of this fabulous small appliance, see my post for Frenzied Fish, Oct. 26, 2011). Steam 20-to-30 min. or until a knife easily pierces the pumpkin flesh. Scrape the flesh from the skin, which will also have softened. Purée in a blender or - better yet - a food processor.

Your second choice is to bake the chunks, uncovered, at 325 deg. F. for about 1 hr. These times will vary with the size and thickness of the pumpkin chunks. Scoop the pumpkin into a food processor and purée until no lumps remain. If the purée has a high water content, you may want to simmer it for a few minutes to let some of the water evaporate.

Cool, package, label, and freeze. That’s all there is to it!

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