A trip to the pumpkin patch & making Pumpkin Puree

After a trip to Moose Creek Pumpkin Patch, south of Chapman, Ks., I was inspired to make pumpkin puree for our fall and winter pumpkin pies, cakes, etc. Greg Stroda, owner of the patch and pumpkin enthusiast, raises many varieties of pumpkin but suggests using a French heirloom pumpkin, Fairytale, for pies. He also shared how to prepare the pulp—his directions follow.
An array of some of the pumpkin varieties available at Moose Creek Pumpkin Patch.
Greg Stroda in the pumpkin patch.
Greg Stroda with his sister Patrica @ Moose Creek Pumpkin Patch.

Homemade Pumpkin Puree 
1 Fairytale pumpkin  (a 37 lb. pumpkin yields about 8 pints puree)
  1. Cut the pumpkin into sections.
    Fairy Tale pumpkins average about 15 lbs. with a pale orange (as in the one above) or green exterior (as in the one below). Their flesh is a vibrant orange. 
  2. Scoop out the seeds and stringy materials from each section.
  3. Lay sections on baking sheets (I lined mine with silicon mats).
  4. Bake in a preheated 450° oven for about 1 hour or until tender.
  5. Cool and then remove outer covering.
  6. Process pumpkin (in batches) in the food processor until smooth.
  7. Transfer to a colander (lined with paper towels or cheesecloth) that has been set down into another bowl. Pumpkins have a very high water content so must be drained! 
  8. Cover and refrigerate draining pumpkin for about 24 hours (or cover top of puree with wax paper and a heavy weight—this will speech up the draining process to about 12 hours), removing water as it collects for maximum results.
  9. Divide pumpkin puree into freezer bags and freeze until ready to use, or use immediately. (Many recipes call for a 15 oz. can, so that is the measure I used to divide the pumpkin.)
Recipe without photos . . .
Homemade Pumpkin Puree 
1 Fairytale pumpkin  (a 37 lb. pumpkin yields about 8 pints puree)
  1. Cut the pumpkin into sections.
  2. Scoop out the seeds and stringy materials from each section.
  3. Lay sections on baking sheets (I lined mine with silicon mats).
  4. Bake in a preheated 450° oven for about 1 hour or until tender.
  5. Cool and then remove outer covering.
  6. Process pumpkin (in batches) in the food processor until smooth.
  7. Transfer to a colander (lined with paper towels or cheesecloth) that has been set down into another bowl. Pumpkins have a very high water content so must be drained! 
  8. Cover and refrigerate draining pumpkin for about 24 hours (or cover top of puree with wax paper and a heavy weight—this will speech up the draining process to about 12 hours)  removing water as it collects for maximum results.
  9. Divide pumpkin puree into freezer bags and freeze until ready to use, or use immediately. (Many recipes call for a 15 oz. can, so that is the measure I used to divide the pumpkin.)

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