I love pumpkin pie. It’s always been one of my favorites. Homemade, store bought, or pumped into my latte, you name it, I love it. I was pretty surprise to learn a few years ago that most of the pumpkin treats I love do not actually contain 100% pumpkin. (Don’t worry, I never pretended my latte did.)
Now I’m not going to let that stop me from eating pie. In fact, this “mislabeling” isn’t even that egregious or actual mislabeling. Many manufacturers of canned pumpkins or pre-made pies use a variety other squashes that yield a similar flavor and fall under the same genus as the traditional pie pumpkin. It’s all technically pumpkin. It’s not a bad thing. I’m totally down for using canned pumpkin because it’s convenient, tastes great, and isn’t made from fake ingredients.
However, it’s incredibly satisfying to make a pie or other treat from pumpkin that you have roasted yourself. And it’s easy. It only takes an extra 15-20 minutes of your time to make your own roast pumpkin. You can cut it into cubes for savory dishes or take it for a spin in your food processor to make a puree to use in pumpkin pie or ravioli. If DIY is your thing, you should definitely give it a try. If not, I won’t blame you for opening a can of pumpkin, I promise.
Roast Your Own Pumpkin
1 sugar pumpkin – I like to buy smaller ones, they’re easier to handle and tend to be sweeter and a bit less watery
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- With a sharp knife, carefully remove the top of the pumpkin. This is a little tricky, so go slowly and be safe about it. If your knife is dull, think about investing in a knife sharpener. My local hardware store will also send knives out to be sharpened if you don’t want to do this yourself.
- Cut the pumpkin in half.
- Scrape out the seeds and filling.
- Save these for later! They are another delicious, roasted fall treat.
- Place skin side down on a baking sheet.
- Roast 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until fork tender.
- If you want to make a puree, cut into chunks and puree in batches in your food processor or blender. You’ll need to add a little bit of water if you use a blender.
NOTE: Pumpkins can vary a lot. You might find your pumpkin is really loose and watery. If that’s the case, let it drain for awhile through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer. If your puree is really tight, add some water by the tablespoon until a smooth, creamy consistency is reached. You don’t want your puree to be too watery or anything you bake with it will have a loose consistency.