How-Tos and Tutorials techniques

Roasted Pumpkin Puree

We’ve all seen the pumpkin pie filling that comes from the store.

It’s sorta OK but given it is a commercially produced product it has a lot of stuff in it that you don’t really need.  It is a fairly uncomplicated thing to make your own pie filling.

Selecting a Pumpkin or Squash for Filling

If you are thinking of using your left over Jack-O-Lantern to make pie with don’t.   You’ll live to regret it.  Carving pumpkins are absolutely unsuited for the job of making pie, soup or anything other than decorations.  If you have a compost heap that’s a really good place to put the Jack-o-Lantern after Halloween.

I have several personal favorites for this task..

First off is the sugar pumpkin which is generally smaller than the carving pumpkins and makes for a really good pie or soup.

Sugar pumpkin

I usually find these at farm stands rather than grocery stores.  A high end grocery store like Wegman’s or Whole Foods might carry them but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Another favorite of mine is actually a squash.  Mother Hubbard squash makes excellent pie and/or soup and you get enough puree from it to make both.

Assortment of Mother Hubbard squashes

As you see they come in all sizes and shapes. One that I bought at a farm stand years ago measured eighteen inches across the top and made more puree than I could possibly use before it went past being usable.

My last favorite is called a Turban Squash and also has  a good yield.

Turban squash on the small end of the size range

There are other large hard squashes out there that are sometimes quite regional.  There is one squash I bought many years ago that I still don’t know the name of that I bought at a farm stand and the high school students running the cash register didn’t even know the name of.  It weighed about 15 pounds and was pretty big.  Cost me the princely sum of US $3 so I was willing to take a chance on it and I was not at all disappointed with it.

Making puree

In my recipe here I’ll use the generic term “gourd” to save on typing.  The procedure is the same regardless of the type of gourd you are using.

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Roasted Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 gourd of your choosing
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil (not going to use all of it)
  1. Preheat an oven to 350F
  2. Split in half or for larger gourds quarters
  3. Remove strings and seeds Seeds can be roasted separately for snacking or garnish
  4. rub the inside of the gourd with the olive oil
  5. place cut side down on a parchment paper lined jelly roll pan
  6. place in oven and cook for 30 to 40 minutes until a fork easily pierces the shell. Longer for larger gourds.
  7. scrape the flesh away from the shell
  8. discard the shell
  9. mash the flesh into a puree with a potato masher.


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