Connie asked me to post this as a recipe so she could save it to her recipe box. So, here goes.
Well, with the Autumn season fully upon us… and thoughts go to all those yummy dishes made from pumpkin. But before you crack open that can of pumpkin puree, let me suggest making your very own puree, from scratch… Once you do it you’ll never look at a can of pumpkin puree the same way again.
What you want is a 2 to 4 pound, sugar pumpkin. Sugar pumpkins are much sweeter than the larger carving variety, with less stringy flesh.
Cut the pumpkin in half… pole-to-pole, and then scoop out all the pumpkin guts… reserve the seeds for some other use, and then brush the inside with a bit of light olive oil. Lay them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cut side down.
Chef's Note: Some people like to sprinkle a bit of salt and/or pepper on the cut flesh, and that's fine; however, I prefer raw puree. That way I can spice it up for whatever recipe I'm using it for.
Place a rack in the lower position, and preheat your oven to one of two temperatures:
400f (205c): Hot & Fast
325f (165c): Low & Slow
Hot & Fast: This method will have your pumpkin flesh ready in less than an hour. By cooking it fast, it will have a less sweet taste. Which for some dishes is desirable.
Low & Slow: This method will have the pumpkin flesh ready in about an hour and a half; however, the slower cooking temperature will develop a sweeter texture to the flesh.
In either case, the pumpkins will be ready when you can slide a pairing knife into the pumpkin with little resistance.
Place the pumpkin flesh into a cheesecloth-lined colander and allow the excess liquid to drain away before pureeing.
After draining off the excess liquid, place in a food processor fitted with an S-blade and pulse until pureed
Place in an airtight container, such as a mason jar. It will keep about a week in the fridge or up to a month in the freezer. Enjoy.