Pumpkins can be tricky to safely cup up for roasting. They wobble, they have a very tough rind that is hard to cut through, and they can get slippery. All of this makes knife safety a challenge when cutting them up. I’m hearing myself saying, “then why would anyone want to cut them up when I can just purchase pumpkin puree?” In my opinion, an organically grown sugar pumpkin is so much tastier than a pumpkin from a can. However, there is also nothing wrong if you decide to use canned pumpkin.
Cut off the top of the pumpkin to make a flat top. Then flip the pumpkin over and cut it in half. The flat top keeps the pumpkin stable and prevents rocking while you cut it open.
Make a V-shaped cut in the flat end to remove the remaining flesh and create an opening in the flat end.
Cut the seeds loose from the other end and scoop out all of the seeds with a spoon. I scrape the flesh of the pumpkin with the edge of the spoon to remove the attached strands of the pumpkin. Repeat with the other half.
Cut the pumpkin into wedges and place the wedges on a baking sheet for roasting. I cut the pumpkin in wedges and bake the wedges. If you prefer, you can put the pumpkin halves on the baking sheet and bake them without cutting them into wedges. When you bake the pumpkin this way it retains a lot more moisture, and you will either need to remove the extra moisture with a nut milk bag. See my blog on How to Make Pumpkin Puree for removing the extra moisture.
The pumpkin you purchase in the store is solid pak pumpkin and has most of the moisture has been removed. The result is a thick, dense low-moisture pumpkin puree.
Roast the pumpkin slices at 400 degrees for about 30 – 45 minutes or until the flesh is very soft when pierced with a fork.
Peel off the rind or scoop the flesh away from the rind. A high-speed blender, Ninja or Blend-Tech blender, works best for pureeing the pumpkin. I’ve tried mashing it, but it’s hard to get the puree, a silky smooth consistency. Mashed pumpkin tends to be a bit stringy.
Now that you have that big bowl of pumpkin puree, what will you use it for? How about some Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls, or Pumpkin Spice French Toast Casserole? Don’t forget the cup of pumpkin spice coffee to wash it all down.
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