Thanksgiving thoughts 2006

As thanksgiving approaches, I once again find myself wanting to enter the kitchen to show off some of my former pastry chef skills to my friends and family. Admitadly, I’m a little rusty, but, never-the-less, I found myself scouring the city for baking/pie pumpkins last Thursday so that I could roast them off for some homemade pumpkin puree. Finally having tracked some down of the adequate size at Whole Food$, I was surprised to run into an old coworker who was wondering what I was going to do with pumpkins after halloween. They seemed genuinely shocked that pumpkin puree could be made fresh, and that it wasn’t just libby slaving away for us all. As a side note, I’ve recently read several reports on chowhound and the like that the canned stuff is just as good or better then making it fresh, but I really don’t buy this and have, as of yet, never used the canned product for anything.
After looking through a stack of my cookbooks and not finding a real definitive technique I opted for the following:

Roasted Pumpkin Puree
note: 2-5lb pumpkins are preferred

  1. Preheat oven to 325deg
  2. Knock stems off with the back of a chef knife and wash pumpkins well.
  3. Cut pumpkins vertically in half and scoop out all seeds with a spoon.
  4. Place pumpkins flesh side down onto lined baking sheets and put them in the oven.
  5. Cook the pumpkins for 1.5-2 hours or until soft. Every 30min rotate the sheets top to bottom and 180 degrees.
  6. Remove pumpkins from oven and let cool flesh side down until they are cool enough to handle.
  7. Scrape the flesh from the pumpkins and process it in a food processor in batches.
  8. Pass the resulting pumpkin puree through a fine mesh sieve
  9. put into vented containers and chill.

This stuff is delicious, and I couldn’t stop just eating it up with a spoon as, after having passed it through the sieve, it was very luxurious. Fortunatly I ended up with about a gallon of puree, so the pumpkin recipe ideas are in full effect.

One Response to “Thanksgiving thoughts 2006”

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