Preparing Fresh Pumpkin
I myself just love it when I find a new hint or tip that I have never seen or heard of.
I have found that the best pumpkins to use are the small ones as they tend to be the sweetest. If you dont have pumpkin available you can use Hubbard Squash instead.
**Did you know that most of your canned pumpkin in the store is really hubbard squash?
Clean and peel pumpkin or squash.
Discard seeds and stringy material from inside.
Cut into small pieces and boil like potatoes until the pumpkin/squash is soft.
Strain after cooking.
Puree pumpkin in a blender.
(Can be frozen)
Cut an access hole of about 3-4 inch radius around the stem.
Remove this piece, scoop out seeds and stringy material from the inside and discard.
Place cleaned pumpkin/squash on a roasting pan or other oven-ready pan with deep sides.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until pumpkin/squash appears to be collapsing and softening.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Scoop out the meat with a large spoon.
Puree pumpkin/squash meat in a food processor.
**NOTE: this method is much easier than the boiling method above. It goes significantly faster and leaves a fairly dry puree that can be used directly without further concentration. The resulting puree is also more healthy and flavorful since the flavor wasn't boiled out with the vitamins.
NOTE: This is probably overall the best and fastest way to do it!
Slice pumpkin/squash in half.
Remove all seeds and string.
Place both halves on a cookie sheet and place in a 425 degree oven.
Cook for about 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool to around room temperature.
Scoop out the pumpkin/squash meat with an ice cream scoop.
It will be stringy.
Chop it up with a Braun hand mixer until it's reasonably chopped.
You can't get all the stringiness out with the hand mixer, so when it's processed with the hand mixer, put the result in a food processor and puree it for about 1-2 minutes until all the stringiness is chopped away.