Fall is officially here! Especially with the last few days of brisk, cool weather! If there’s one thing that says fall… it’s pumpkins! Pumpkin lattes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cheesecake. Of course Publix has rows of perfectly aligned pumpkin purée striping it’s aisles, but I want the real deal: home roasted, homemade, perfectly natural pumpkin purée. But Elaine, you say, I’m no Pioneer Woman! I hear you. Repeat after me: cut, scoop, roast, blend. Its bright color and fresh flavor cannot be replicated in those cans. And it’s a wonderful activity to share with kiddos because it’s a little messy and very hands-on. Let’s get started.
Pick a pumpkin!
Go to a patch or a grocery store and let your littles (or not so littles) choose a perfect pumpkin. I like to use a small to medium one usually labeled as a “pie pumpkin.” These are easier to maneuver in the kitchen, but any pumpkin you want to use will be just as delicious.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
I like to cut the pumpkin right down the middle from top to bottom. Scoop out all the gross stuff and seeds (save those seeds to roast separately later) with an ice cream scoop or big spoon. Then cut each half into smaller sections.
Lay the sections on a baking sheet.
I usually lay them skin side down, but I don’t think anything disastrous will happen if they are on their sides. Live dangerously if the mood strikes.
Roast until the pumpkin is nice and soft.
This usually takes around 30 to 45 minutes, but will vary depending on the size of your pumpkin so check it often. Drink a glass of wine, then check the pumpkin. Repeat.
I know it’s tempting, but wait for them to cool.
Trust me, those suckers are hot! Just to be safe, drink another glass of wine. When the sections are cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and throw the pumpkin goodness into a food processor or blender. You could probably mash it by hand, but it won’t be as smooth and ain’t nobody got time for that. Add some water, a little at a time, if the mixture is too thick. Give some to a toddler for quality control.
Marvel at your homemade pumpkin purée!
Show it off to your significant other, friends, mom, babysitter, and anyone who knocks on your door.