Homemade Pumpkin Puree

There is something very satisfying about making a pumpkin pie completely from scratch.  As a first step, you need to make pumpkin puree from a pie pumpkin, also known as a sugar pumpkin.  My small pumpkin yielded nearly 3 cups of puree.  Once I process my second pumpkin, I will freeze the puree in glass jars.  A can of pumpkin puree from the store contains about 1 3/4 c.  Since my homemade puree tends to be little thinner, I use up to 2 c in a recipe that calls for a can of puree.

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

1 pie (sugar) pumpkin
water

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Cut pumpkin in half from top to bottom (be careful!).
3) Thoroughly scoop out guts; reserve seeds for roasting.
4) Place pumpkin halves cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet.
5) Pour approx. 1/4″ of water into the pan.
6) Bake for an hour or until a fork easily pierces the skin.
7) Scoop out soft pumpkin flesh; let cool slightly.
8) Mash or blend until smooth.
9) If the puree seems watery, drain in a cheesecloth-lined sieve until puree reaches desired consistency.

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