How to Roast a Pumpkin

by Dara Schwartz on January 27, 2012

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚. Choose a firm, small sugar pumpkin, about 3-4 pounds. Rinse the pumpkin under water to remove any debris.
  2. Using a sharp or serrated knife, cut the pumpkin in half.
  3. Scoop out the seeds and stringy strands with a metal spoon. Set aside the seeds for toasting.
  4. Coat the pumpkin halves with olive oil. Place pumpkin halves cut side down on a baking sheet and cover with aluminum foil. To secure, tuck foil under pumpkin edges.
  5. Roast pumpkin at 350˚ until tender, about 40-60 minutes (depending on size.) Let the pumpkin cool and scoop out the flesh and discard the skin (often the skin will peel right off.)

Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

How to Make Pumpkin Purée
Transfer flesh (from step 5 above) to a food processor and purée until smooth. You can also use an immersion blender.

Purée can be used as is or strained to drain excess liquid. For sauces or soups, I use the non-strained purée. To add density to desserts, I strain the purée.

To remove excess liquid from the purée, use a cheesecloth or fine mesh sieve. You can also make-shift a “cheesecloth” by placing purée inside 4-5 layered paper towels. Wrap up the towels and gently squeeze out the liquid. You may have to do this a few times with a new set of dry paper towels to avoid the purée from bursting through.

Puree can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days.

How to Store Whole Pumpkins
Whole pumpkins store well at room temperature for up to a month. If stored in a cool cellar or refrigerator, they can last up to three months.

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