Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Roasted Pumpkin Puree and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Last week was so busy that we didn't have time to carve pumpkins.  We normally carve pumpkins every year so I was a little bummed.  When I was at the grocery store the other day, I picked up a small pie pumpkin.  I had intended for it just to be a nice little fall decoration but decided to hack it up and roast the seeds and make some homemade pumpkin puree.

Has anyone else ever made homemade puree out of a pumpkin?  It is really quite a simple process.  Wait.  I take that back.  There is one very difficult part and that is cutting the pumpkin open.  It felt like I was cutting through steel and I'm surprised I didn't slice a finger off.  At one point, I even considered taking an ax to the thing.  So do you want to make some homemade pumpkin puree now?  Sorry for scaring you.  Once you get the sucker open, it's all smooth sailing from there.  Just make sure you use a sharp knife and be careful.

I have always gotten my pumpkin from a can so it made me feel very pilgrim-like to roast it from scratch.  After conquering that, I feel like I could live off the land.  Maybe I will harvest and grind my own wheat next.  You never know... I'm crazy like that.

 Cut the stem out first just like carving a big pumpkin.  Keep in mind that the pumpkins you carve are not ideal for roasting.  You want to use a pie pumpkin or sometimes also called a sugar pie pumpkin. This one is about 4-5 pounds.

 Slice the pumpkin down the sides.  Easier said than done.  These smaller pumpkins have some thick skin!

 Remove the seeds and guts.  Save the seeds to roast.  Lay it down on a foil lined cookie sheet.  Do not add anything.  No oil. No salt.  Nothing.

 Place in a 400 degree oven and roast for 45-60 minutes. Placing a bowl of water on the bottom shelf will make sure the pumpkin doesn't dry out.

While the pumpkin is roasting, rinse off the seeds.  Remove any large pieces of pumpkin.

 Lay them out on a paper towel to drain.  This is very important because you want them to evenly cook and not burn.

Once dry, scatter over a lined cookie sheet.  I have seen seeds roasted with loads of different flavors but I am classic and prefer them the same way each year; olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder.  If it aint broke, don't fix it!

Remove the pumpkin from the oven and test to make sure the flesh is soft and roasted all the way down to the skin.  Now is a good time to reduce the temperature in the oven to 350 degrees so you can roast the seeds.

Scoop all of the flesh out with a spoon and throw it into a food processor with the blade attachment.

 The pumpkin should be very moist so no need to add water unless it appears dry.

 Turn the food processor on and let it roll for about 1-2 minutes.  As evidenced my by finger mark, I had to test the consistency.

 The finished product.  My 4-5 pound pumpkin yielded about 3-4 cups of puree.

 Immediately after, I made the MOST delicious pumpkin cake with a brown sugar, oat and pecan crumble topping.   I'll be posting the recipe later this week and it is definitely a keeper!

Then I portioned put the remaining puree into Ziploc sandwich bags and placed in the freezer for later use.

 Once the seeds are toasted, let them cool.

And toss them in a bowl and see how long they last.  Around here, ours disappear pretty quickly!

Roasted Pumpkin Puree
1 4-5 pound pie pumpkin

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Remove stem and slice pumpkin in half.  Remove the seeds and guts until the pumpkin is clean.  Save the seeds.

Place the pumpkin halves skin side down on a foil lined baking pan. Roast in oven for about 45-60 minutes or until the flesh is perfectly soft all the way down to the skin.

Remove from oven and scoop flesh out into a food processor.  Blend for about 1-2 minutes until mixture is completely smooth.

Portion out puree into one cup servings, place in baggies and freeze for later use.  

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
1-2 cups pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Remove seeds from the flesh of the pumpkin.  Clean off any flesh from the seeds, place them in a colander and rinse.  Turn out onto a few layers of paper towels and let them dry.

Place seeds on lined cookie sheet and toss with oil, salt, pepper and garlic.  Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Store in an airtight container to make the last longer.  


  1. This is so much cooler than buying the canned puree. You get total bragging rights for making a TRULY homemade pumpkin pie!

    And those savory-flavored seeds sound SO good!

    1. Thanks Sarah! Sadly, the seeds are all gone. Might have to have another go at this just for more seeds!


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