Last Spring when I was planning my garden, I decided to do this pumpkin patch plus gourds. Well, I have been blessed with more than I could have ever imagined. So yesterday, I got out in the weeds (garden) and picked the pumpkins (a small, more sugary inside) that were supposed to be for pies. I called my d-i-l (daughter in love) because I knew they were thinking on coming out to the farm on Sunday and asked her if she would like to help make pumpkin puree for pies.
She has the best recipe for pumpkin pie!!! Her mom used to freeze pumpkin puree and so d-i-l is a pro at pumpkin pie.
Well, I thought I would get a jump on things and started cooking the pumpkins. I read through several articles online and came up with this:
*Use pie pumpkins or smaller pumpkins for better flavor (mine were 3-5 lbs. each)
* First wash pumpkins thoroughly, no soap, just scrub them with water.
*cut the pumpkins in half and put in 9 x 13 pan, cut side down.
*put 1/2" water in pan. Don't let the pan dry out. I did and my oven started smoking.
*put in 400 degree oven for 40 min.
*test with knife, pierce skin for tenderness. You want tender, not mushy.
*pour off water and let cool
This is what you end up with...
I scraped out all the meat of the pumpkin, discarding the rind. Then I started running it through my food processor to puree it. This took a while and I tried not to add any water to it as it was processing. I just did it in small batches. When finished with processing, I strained it to get out any lumps left. Then I processed it all a second time. (my food processor is OLD, you might not have to do it twice)
D-i-l told me her recipe calls for 1 cup of puree so I decided to portion out the puree in 1/2 cup portions.
THEN I GOT THIS GREAT IDEA!!!
I decided to put 1/2 cup portions in a muffin tin, freeze it and THEN seal them in bags!!!
DING, DING, DING..... this worked really slick!!! Then I put the muffin tins in the freezer overnight.
This morning, I took out the muffin tins and of course, they didn't want to come out right off the bat, so I put a big strainer in the sink and ran a little warm water over the back of the tin and they popped right out.
I didn't want the puree to thaw out so I already had my sealer out, ready to go and bags sealed on one end. I put 2- 1/2 cup frozen puree cups in each bag and sealed them up...
Out of those 4 pumpkins, I ended up with 16 cups of puree. Wow! That's like 16 pies or 10 pies and 6 loaves of pumpkin bread or........
you get the point!
I decided to not put any spices in the puree because I will use it for different things other than just pie.
So.... grab a few pumpkins, small pie pumpkins (you can even buy them at your local store), start cooking, freezing, and when you hear on the news that there is a shortage of pumpkin pie filling, you can smile because yours is already in the freezer just waiting for you to use.