This is not really a recipe but rather a method for how to make your own pumpkin puree. Personally, I love pumpkin and try to use it in as many recipes as I can each fall/winter but I hate to buy the canned puree stuff because even though it claims to be all natural, it doesn't have that beautiful bright orange color nor does it have the real taste of pumpkin not to mention a can of it (at least here) is really expensive. So, I decided to make my own pumpkin puree, portion it and freeze it ( it freezes beautifully!) and this way I have fresh pumpkin puree ready for me when ever I am ready to cook (how Martha Stewart of me, right?!) The truth is that it is actually so easy to do that I'm upset at myself that I've never done it before and now there is no going back- no more over priced, brown, canned pumpkin for me. Here in Israel, pumpkin is abundant right now and practically throughout the year but in America this is really the season to get fresh pumpkin if you want to make puree to have it for the rest of the year. Make sure to buy small pumpkins like the "sugar pumpkin" and other varieties that are sold in stores like Trader Joe's or even ShopRite and not those huge Jack o' Lantern pumpkins which practically have no meat on them (nope, sorry, you can't steal it off your neighbor's stoop.) Once you have the pumpkin, the rest is easy. I freeze them in a muffin pan which makes each frozen cube about a 1/2 cup portion so I know when I am baking how many cubes I need. Once you bake with fresh pumpkin you'll never go back!
1 small pumpkin, or 3 pieces of cut pumpkin (in Israel)
1 baking sheet
For whole pumpkins, place pumpkin on baking sheet and cover with foil. For pieces of pumpkin, remove all seeds and stringy parts and place on baking sheet and cover with foil. Bake at 350 for about 2 hours for pieces and about 3 hours for small whole pumpkins. They are ready when a fork goes into them easily. Cool the pumpkin and scoop out the flesh. Put the flesh in a food processor and puree until smooth.
If it is too watery strain the mixture to remove the water. Place the mixture into a muffin pan and freeze until solid.
Remove from the pan and place in air tight ziplock freezer bags for future use.