Sometimes I like to pretend like I have my life together. And there's homemade pumpkin puree involved. I ignore the stacks of dishes with crusty food, the smell laundry piled in front of the washing machine, the kids with sticky bits of honey in between their fingers, and the compost sitting in front of my kitchen door waiting for it's trip to the chicken coop.
Yes, let's pretend like those things don't exist.
Instead, let's focus on more fun things! Like roasting pumpkins until their tender, scooping out their sweet flesh, and turning it into a sweet, luxurious pie. This is our first year hosting Thanksgiving at Cottage Hill. And because I could, I decided to go all-out and source the majority of our food from our farm and other local farmers. It'll be a bit different than my family is used to. Here's to hoping they don't regret their decision to let me feed them.
We've been preparing for the coming days by glittering leaves, putting fresh candles in the holders, and pouring wine. And not necessarily in that order.
But what were we talking about again? Oh yes, homemade pumpkin puree. For those times when you have thirty extra seconds and would enjoy scooping pumpkin more than opening a can.
Homemade Pumpkin Puree
There are good pumpkins for turning into pumpkin puree and better pumpkins for turning into pumpkin puree. Generally, the smaller to medium sized pumpkins still have dense flesh – so go for them.
1. We're going to start by cutting the top and the bottom of the pumpkins. Chop, chop, my friends.
2. From there, quarter each of the pumpkins into… well, quarters. Right? Quarters is four. So cut it into four pieces. Or four quarters. Or quarters, really. You still with me?
3. Use a spoon to scoop out all of the seeds and weird little stringy stuff that clings around the seeds (you can roast and eat them later!… or feed these to your animals… they're great dewormers!… sorry for saying dewormer in a food post.).
4. Set all of the pumpkin quarters onto a baking tray and place in a 375 degree oven for 40-50 minutes, until the pumpkin is fork tender. Remove it from the oven after this time and let it cool.
5. Whip out your spoon again, once the pumpkin has cooled, and scoop the flesh away from the skin. Discard the skin and keep that soft, sweet flesh.
6. Pop the pumpkin puree into your food processor or high-powered blender (or heck, use your potato masher) and blend until silky smooth. You can add a few tablespoons of water, if need be, but error on the side of less water. Water dilutes flavor, baby. So error on the side of less of it. You with me still?
7. Scoop the smooth, perfect pumpkin puree into a jar and stick it into the fridge until you need it for your pies (or you can freeze it in a plastic bag if you're doing this way in advance). Totally up to you, man.
Here's what I know. There's a pumpkin pie that needs to be made with my name on it. There's also a turkey, mashed potatoes, whiskey-glazed carrots, bacon and green beans, butternut squash soup, beef wellington, greens, cured meats, cheeses, fruits, nuts, cocktails, and chocolate mousse with my name on it as well. So on that note, I suppose it's time to stop editing photos and start drinking coffee so I can accomplish that list above, huh?
Snap out of it, Shaye! There is puff pastry to be made!
I'm still tired.
Time to espresso. Have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving, my friends!
And don't forget to tune into Food Network @ 12:30 pm EST for the premiere of our show, ‘Homestead Table'.