How to Make Homemade "Canned" Pumpkin
I’ve always been curious as to how those expensive little cans of pumpkin puree come from a pumpkin. This summer I made a mid-year resolution to save more money and become more dependent on the land than the grocery store. I found that it is really very easy to make your own puree. Here’s how it went.
Using Sugar Pumpkins
First, you rinse the pumpkins (I had two small ones) and cut them in half through the middle not stem to rump. Scoop all the seeds and stringy mess out, set aside in a bowl to make fresh garlicky pumpkin seeds. Place the halves face down on a large baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes in a 350°F oven.
While the pumpkins roast, clean your seeds. I started by cleaning all the stringy mess off them. Next, rinse them several times to get off the sticky residue and any remaining bits of string. Use a clean kitchen towel to remove as much moisture as you can. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Toss the seeds with 2 tablespoons of vegetable or canola oil. Lay them out on the baking sheet in a single layer and sprinkle with garlic salt and garlic powder.
When the pumpkins are done roasting, remove them to cool slightly. Add the seeds to the oven and bake for 15-30 minutes, watch closely to avoid burning and turn once or twice.
Meanwhile, peel the skins from the pumpkins with a fork or spoon (I tossed mine into the compost bin as well). Puree the meat in a blender or food processor until smooth. Use a mesh strainer to remove most of the moisture, they are very watery.
I then packed my extra puree in 15 ounce portions and froze them. Amazingly, I got exactly three 15 ounce portions from 2 small pumpkins. I used one portion to make the following, delicious, individual pumpkin loaves. I found the disposable mini loaf pans while shopping for a birthday gift at Home Goods and couldn’t pass them up.
Mini Double Glazed Pumpkin Loaves
For the bread:
3½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup apple sauce
1½ cups sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree or fresh pumpkin puree
Sugar Glaze Ingredients:
1½ cups powdered sugar plus 1½ Tablespoons powdered sugar
4 Tablespoons whole milk
Spiced Glaze Ingredients:
1 cup powdered sugar plus 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons whole milk
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pinch ginger
1 pinch ground cloves
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour pans.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves; set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the oil and apple sauce.
4. To the oil mixture, add the sugars, mixing until combined.
5. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until combined.
6. Mix in the pumpkin until thoroughly combined. Scrap down the sides to be sure it’s all incorporated.
7. Add half of the flour mixture and mix until just combined, be careful not to over mix.
8. Add the remaining flour until no streaks of flour remain.
9. Divide the mixture evenly among the prepared baking pans.
10. Bake the mini loaves for 20 minutes. Rotate the pans, front to back, and bake for an additional 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Bake the larger loaves for 25 minutes, rotate, and 25 additional minutes. Allow to cool before topping with glaze.
11. While the loaves bake, prepare both glazes. In two separate small bowls, whisk together all ingredients for each glaze.
12. When the loaves have cooled, brush the sugar glaze over top of each loaf. Then drizzle with the spiced glaze.
Makes 6 mini loaves or three 7x3-inch loaves