Autumn Celebrations - Pumpkin Puree

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It's autumn!  And we both know what that means...fall flavours! It's time to eat anything with cinnamon,  nutmeg, cranberries and the number one flavour of them all...pumpkin! :)

In our house, we have celebrated Autumn to the 1000th degree. Brian loves Autumn and so, on our last shopping trip, he went a little crazy. Our cupboards are now stocked full of pumpkin tea, pumpkin granola, pumpkin biscotti, pumpkin chai and pumpkin cereal bars. I am not even kidding. We have a pumpkin problem.

So yesterday, when we went to dinner at a friend's house and I offered to make dessert, Brian suggested that I make pumpkin pie. In fact, he's been making that suggestion since August and now that it is October, I really had no more excuses. My pumpkin pie has a little British twist to it though. You'll see what I do in the next post! 

Anyway, in preparation for my pumpkin pie, I thought I'd tackle something new: making my own pumpkin puree. I'm not really sure what was stopping me from making pumpkin puree before. I guess it just seemed like too much time and effort, but after doing a taste test of each, you will be amazed at the difference. In hindsight, it is all pretty easy and completely worth it. There's about 10 minutes work that includes peeling the pumpkins and putting them in the blender. It is the oven that is the one doing most of the work here.

To start off, buy some sugar pumpkins. These aren't the large pumpkins you use for jack o lantern carving. They should be the the small kind. Some shops sell them as 'pie pumpkins'.

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Give them a good wash and cut off off the stems. Then cut them in half and take out all of the seeds. You don't want to throw away the seeds though, just set them aside. This is a great recipe/set of instructions for roasting your pumpkin seeds to eat later: allrecpes.com

I am redirecting you to another site, because I cannot be bothered to explain how to roast pumpkin seeds...that, and when I did it, I burnt them. Don't burn them. They don't taste nice when burnt. 

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The pumpkin will then go in the oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees F, or until they are soft and a fork can easily slide through the flesh. Once done, allow them to cool for 10-15 minutes and then peel the skin off with a knife. If you wanted, you could at this point sprinkle some salt on to it and eat it as is!! But if planning to make a pie, just put it straight into a food processor after peeling and blend it until smooth. You can add a few tablespoons of water to help this process along...every pumpkin is different. :) And there you have it, pumpkin puree! This will keep in the fridge in an airtight container or ziploc bag for a few days.

I'll try to post the pumpkin pie recipe in the next couple of days! Otherwise...Google is your friend. 

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