Thick Caramelized Homemade Pumpkin Puree. Use it for a wide variety of recipes including Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Carrot Cake, Muffins, Lattes, etc… You get quite a bit from one Pumpkin and the addition of Pumpkin Juice & Seeds too. The Puree can be portioned into Ziploc bags and frozen until needed.
Since this is something that I use for a few Recipes. I don’t season the puree at all. I reserve that for whatever dishes the Puree is being used for.
Use a small Pumpkin as the big ones or the ones used for Carving are too big and fibrous.
The real trick is to use the Pumpkin skin that is full of that Orange pigment that can be used along with the Puree for the color. When this goes into the oven again to caramelize – which is the second trick, the color and flavor are boosted naturally.
Wash the Pumpkin well and Dry. Slice the Pumpkin in half scooping out the membrane and seeds. Chop off the stem and bottom root piece. Then Chop the Pumpkin into manageable pieces that can fit into the blender after the first cook. I usually cut into strips.
From this we will get the following.
- Caramelized Pumpkin Puree
- Pumpkin Juice
- Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
How to make Pumpkin Puree
Once the pumpkin is cleaned out with seeds removed and chopped into manageable pieces. Place skin side up in a large Casserole and into a preheated oven at 400 F for 45 minutes to an hour. Until the Pumpkin is soft so that it can be pureed with ease.
There will be juices on the bottom of the pan. This can be drained into a bowl that will be used to collect additional pumpkin juice when straining.
Blend the roasted Pumpkin Pieces, skin on in batches. Blend for a while and check the size of the Skin pieces. If it is in small pieces you’re good. If not, keep blending. From here the Puree can be used, strained and then used or Caramelized even further to develop a deeper color and more flavor. As well as thicken it like the canned Pumpkin Puree.
How to Caramelize Pumpkin Puree
Once you have all of your Puree. Drain the Juices from the casserole into a separate bowl and empty the Puree back into the casserole dish. Continue to cook at 400 F until thickened. This will evaporate excess water and concentrate the Flavors & deepen the Color. Cook until desired thickness then remove from the oven and let cool.
The time this takes depends on how fresh your Pumpkin is and how thick you want the Puree, anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours. The more fresh your Pumpkin, the more juices it will contain. Optionally you can strain out any juices that you can before placing back into the oven to caramelize. This will reduce the cooking time.
The first cook will make a Puree with lots of water content.
Caramelized Pumpkin Puree
To remove the excess water and get a consistency like Canned Pumpkin Puree. It is placed back into the oven to caramelize and cook until the desired thickness. Mix it around occasionally.
How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin Seeds are a great snack and touts some major health benefits as well. Plus there are just so many ways these an be flavored.
Washing Pumpkin Seeds
Wash the Pumpkin Seeds to remove large pieces of membrane and then place into a Pot with 4 Cups of water and 1 Tbl of Sea Salt.
Bring to boil and then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.
After simmering for 5 minutes. Strain and place into the screen or rack to set aside. Let them dry overnight.
Toss with Neutral Oil and roast until crisp at 400 F. At the last minute, season with any seasoning desired, toss and bake for a few minutes. Set aside to cool and enjoy.
Roasted Garlic Pumpkin Seeds
These Pumpkin Seeds were tossed in a couple Tbl of Garlic Sauce. Baked at 400 F for 5 minutes, tossed, 3 minutes, and tossed again. Then 2 minutes and tossed again and then baked another 1 minute.
About 10 – 12 minutes. Bake longer if a darker color is desired.
If using Seasoning. Just coat the Pumpkin seeds in Oil and bake. Add the Seasoning at the last minute or two.
How much you get depends on how fresh your Pumpkin is. Pumpkins that are picked up in October and used 3 months later will yield very little juice.
The Pumpkin juice is collected from cooking as well as straining the pulp and can also be used to adjust the consistency of the Puree or portioned off into Ziploc bags or ice cube trays and frozen to use at a later time.
Save any Juices from cooking the Pumpkins as well as when straining into a bowl.
Thick Pumpkin Puree
The Pumpkin pulp is the meat of it all. After the Pumpkin has been cooked the second time for caramelization, color & flavor. Place the Puree into a cheesecloth and string up to drain for a few hours. I leave it overnight. After it is not dripping anymore gently squeeze, to extract even more juices out from the pulp.
Pumpkin Puree / Pulp
This is your Thick Pumpkin Puree, just like you get from the can, but with better flavors as it is extremely fresh. Plus more of it and Pumpkin Juice & Seeds to boot. Which have numerous health benefits and should be enjoyed, at least once every fall.
Pumpkin Puree Consistency
Straining out the Pumpkin Puree after it has Caramelized is optional. But will yield you a thicker Paste much like the canned versions. Depending on the recipe you plan on using it for. Add some Pumpkin Juice back into the Puree if needed to thin it out. Else use it thick for things like Pumpkin Pie.
Thick Pumpkin Puree
This has been pureed, caramelized and strained for a Thick Pumpkin Puree.
How to Store Pumpkin Puree
Place both the Puree & Juices into separate air tight containers and refrigerate for up to 4 days. For longer storage, portion and place into Ziploc bags to freeze for up to 1 year. Optionally freeze into Ice Cube trays and once frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag.
- 1 Blender or Food Processor
- 1 Cheesecloth
- 1 Large Casserole
- 1 Screen or Rack for the seeds
- 2 Bowls one for the Pumpkin Juices and the other for the Seeds
- 1 large Pumpkin
- 4 C Water
- 1 Tbl Sea Salt
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Wash well the exterior of the Pumpkin and Dry. Cut in half, chopping off the Stem and Bottom Stem piece. Scoop the Seeds and Membrane out and place into a bowl.
- Chop the Pumpkin into manageable pieces that can later be thrown into the blender. Lay them out skin side up in a casserole dish, you can stack them on top. Place into the oven for 45 minutes to an hour, Until soft when pierced. Let cool. Remove any charred pieces if present.
- Puree the Pumpkin pieces in batches, looking at the pieces of the skin will tell you how fine it is. Keep Blending until they are in small pieces. Repeat until all pieces are pureed.Strain the cooking Juices in the Casserole Dish into a bowl that you will later use to catch all the juices extracted when straining the Pumpkin Puree.
- Empty the Pumpkin Puree back into the casserole dish and place into the oven at 400 F to caramelize and thicken to the desired consistency. This will evaporate excess water and concentrate the Flavors & Color. Set aside to cool.The time this takes depends on the Freshness of the Pumpkin and how thick you want the puree. The more fresh, the more juices and the longer it will take to thicken. Caramelize anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours. An optional step is to strain out the Puree before caramelizing to reduce the liquids before going back into the oven which will reduce the cook time.
- Place the Pureed Pumpkin into a cheesecloth strung up to let drain with the Bowl of Pumpkin juice underneath to catch the juices. After a few hours or no longer releasing any liquids, gently squeeze well to extract more juice from the pulp.
- Place the Seeds and membrane into a bowl of water and remove the Seeds from any large pieces of membrane. Discard the membrane and strain.
- Place the Seeds into a pot with 4 Cups of Water & 1 Tbl of Sea Salt, bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain and place on a screen or rack. Let dry overnight.
- To Roast, toss the Seeds with a bit of Oil and roast in a preheated oven at 400 F until Crisp & Browned, tossing them around once in while. The last few minutes add any seasoning you desire and salt depending if the Seasoning already contains salt or not, toss well and cook a few minutes more. Let cool.
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