With Halloween over, now is a good time to stock up on fresh pumpkin to use instead of canned. I normally grow pumpkins but didn’t get around to planting any this year. Since I am always looking for ways to replace store bought goods in favor of fresh ingredients I visited our local Wal-Mart the day after Halloween and picked up a couple of pumpkins for 50¢ each! These were pumpkins that up until that day were $2.99 each so I was tickled to get them at that price.
Here’s what I do to get them from a normal pumpkin to my freezer:
Cut in half
Scoop out seeds and stringy flesh. I use my ice cream scoop.
Cut into quarters and place flesh side down in a 325° oven. I double stacked mine and had to take one of my oven racks out to accommodate the height. Bake for an hour or so, then reduce heat to 300° and bake another hour.
Remove from oven, let cool, and then scrape the flesh into a bowl. Transfer to food processor and blend until smooth.
To remove as much liquid as possible pour the pumpkin into a colander or strainer and let it drip over a bowl in the refrigerator overnight. It is now ready to be put into freezer bags or containers. A handy trick is to freeze the amount needed for a particular recipe. Be sure to label the bag accordingly!