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Making Pumpkin Puree From Scratch

1.Any winter squash will work with this technique, including butternut and acorn squash. Large carving pumpkins or squash will not be as sweet. Look for small sized pie or sugar pumpkins. One small pumpkin will yield between 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 cups pumpkin puree.

2.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with pan spray or line with parchment or a silicon pan liner.

3.Cut your pumpkin in half (any direction will work). Scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp. Place the two halves of your pumpkin, cut side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Place the pan in the oven.

4.Roast the pumpkin for about an hour. Check the tenderness by using a paring knife to poke the flesh. There should be no resistance. The pumpkin flesh and rind should be completely soft.

5.Let the pumpkin cool until it is easy to handle. Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh and place it into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Puree the pumpkin until it is completely smooth. You may also use an immersion blender to puree the pumpkin.

6.Scrape the pureed pumpkin into a fine mesh strainer or a regular colander lined with coffee filters or cheesecloth. Allow the puree to drain for 30-45 minutes before using.

7.Pumpkin puree may be frozen for about 6-12 months.

Pumpkin Skillet Snack Cake

Serves: 8-12

6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3 oz)
1 cup All Purpose Flour (5 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cloves
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
3 tablespoons plain yogurt or buttermilk

1.1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut butter into chunks and place in the bottom of a 10 inch cast iron skillet. Place the skillet in the oven to melt the butter. When the butter has melted, remove the skillet from the oven, swirl the butter to coat the pan and then pour the remaining melted butter into a small heat proof bowl to cool slightly.

2.Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt and cloves in a bowl and whisk to combine.

3.In a separate bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg, and yogurt. Whisk until smooth and then add the melted butter. Whisk again until smooth.

4.Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared skillet and place in the oven.

5.Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and cool before serving. Cake may be served with ice cream or whipped cream for a garnish.