This is a re-post from last October with a few changes to make for better puree.
Back to this hugeness.
“How in the world do you begin to attempt to cook such a thing…?”
Here is one way to do it. Worked well for me.
Begin by washing the pumpkin thoroughly. Preheat your oven to 350. Then lug the monster onto a flat surface with your cutting board centered underneath it. Chop the sucker in half like so:
It will then look like this:
Then cut the halves in half like this:
Scoop out the seeds from the center with a spoon and reserve them in order to make yummy roasted pumpkin seeds later.
Grease four cookie sheets (if you have four, I only had two so I did this step in two batches). Place the pumpkin flesh side down like this:
Put the cookie sheets into the preheated oven. I put a little water in the pan, but wait until they are already in the oven to do this otherwise you’ll have a mess.
Roast for 45 min-1 hour or until the flesh is VERY fork tender and the skin has begun to bubble up. TIP: If after an hour the skin still has not bubbled, turn the broiler on for a few min and keep an eye on them, just as the skin begins to bubble up and brown turn it off and take ’em out. Also check every 15-20 min or so to see if the pans need more water.
After cooked, take out, cool completely until cool enough to handle. Using a spoon, scoop the pumpkin flesh out of the skin or shave/peel the skin away. Put the flesh in a large mixing bowl or soup pot to reserve while doing the next step.
Cut the pumpkin into large chunks and place in the center of a clean dish cloth. Wring out the excess liquid (reserving a cup or so to add as needed for pureeing). You will be left with a pretty dense ball of roasted pumpkin.
Break out your trusty blender and puree that pumpkin in batches as big as your blender can handle added the reserved pumpkin liquid as needed. Puree until smooth.
I stored the pumpkin puree in a large plastic storage container so that I could freeze it in batches of 1/2 cup portioned size servings in my handy dandy silicone muffin tray. I’m telling you if you do not have one of these add it to your Christmas wish list…it is the mother of all things freezing. I put it on a metal baking sheet, fill up the cups, freeze it. Pop out the portions with ease into a freezer bag and viola! Perfectly portioned pumpkin for all my fall recipes. And all for a few dollars… and a good couple hours work. Totally worth it in my book. (actually it only cost me the time because our good friends the Long’s bought it for us. They’re so sweet 🙂
Still with me? I doubt many are…but that’s ok. Maybe someday you’ll come back to this post because you yourself will want to purchase, roast, and puree your own monster of a pumpkin. And we will join together in rejoicing amidst our delicious pumpkin baked goods all fall and winter long… 🙂