One of my favorite things I did this fall was puree my own pumpkin. My dad grew sugar pumpkins this year and, since they were a little too small to carve, they graced our entryway through November.
I didn't just want to throw them away but I've heard that baking pumpkin is sooo tedious so I was a little hesitant to try. But then I found a link on one of my favorite blogs on how to do it and it seemed pretty harmless so I thought I would give it a try.
Here they are beforehand. These three smallish-sized pumpkins yielded 12 cups so roughly 4 cups per pumpkin.
I washed mine pretty good and then quartered and de-seeded them. This was probably the most labor intensive part. But the instructions said to not be too picky about getting all of the strings out so I hushed the OCD voice in my head. And they turned out fine. I ended up baking mine for a little over an hour. If I were to change anything at all with this process, I would have probably let them go an extra 20 minutes or so. Here are the baked beauties!
I waited until they were completely cooled and then I peeled them while my daughter ate her dinner. I tried to get her to try some but she wasn't interested. (She's 16 months and is pretty set in her opinions. Watch her come running when this is turned into pumpkin pie, though!)
The next step is to puree this deliciousness down to a smooth consistency. I found that the pieces above were just a little too big to do a large batch in my Cuisinart so I (being a tad impatient) just broke them into smaller bits and it worked much better. Incidentally my daughter is deathly afraid of the blender but she intently watched every detail of this process. Go figure.
Once it was all nice and smooth I took sandwich-sized baggies, fit them into a 1-cup measuring cup and poured the puree as far as it would go. By the time you take the bag out it settles into a little more than 1 cup per bag. Great tip!
You want to expel as much air as possible (to prevent freezer burn, I suppose.) Here they all are ready to go into the freezer. The directions say they will last about 1 year. After they were frozen, and because these bags weren't technically freezer bags, I transferred 3 pumpkin bricks into 1 gallon size freezer-safe bag.
I will post when I have baking results!