Dear Blog, Please excuse my absence. I had to get a ganglion cyst removed, was in a cast, and couldn’t really bake or type for that matter. But now I’m back! Yours Truly, Fauxmartha

It’s pumpkin time. Well, maybe it’s on the tail end of pumpkin time, but it’s not too late. Too late for what? Duh, roasting your own pumpkins. This year, try forgoing buying that canned pumpkin. Not that it’s bad, but this is so much better. I promise.

The best pumpkins for baking are known as cheese pumpkins or sugar pumpkins. You want to stay away from using the big carving pumpkins (pictured above in the middle). They make for a stringy and watery puree. Unknowingly, I did this last year. And it’s true—watery and stringy. This year, I went with sugar pumpkins. They are small. Decently smooth to the touch. Some may call them cute. And guess what, they’re orange. (Cheese pumpkins are not true orange. Read here to find out more about pumpkin varieties.) You can buy them at specialty grocery stores (Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, etc). I bought mine at the Farmer’s Market. The look tiny but produce plenty of pumpkin meat.

There are several ways to turn a pumpkin into pumpkin puree. Some people cut the pumpkin into chunks and steam them. Others do the same thing, but microwave instead of steam. I prefer the roasting method. In my opinion it’s the easiest and tastes the best, but others may disagree.

Roasting Sugar Pumpkins
adapted from MarthaStewart.com
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. With a sharp knife, cut slits in the pumpkin so it can breathe while roasting.
3. Place pumpkin(s) in a baking dish with about 1″ of water.
4. Bake for about 1 1/2 hr, until skin is easily pierced.
5. Peel off skin of pumpkin. If needed, use a peeler.
6. Cut pumpkin in half and allow to cool for about 15 min.
7. Scoop out seeds. I used a melon baller to do this.
8. Throw the “meat” of the pumpkin into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
9. Allow to cool and add to your recipe in place of the canned stuff; or refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze.

Stay tuned to hear where this puree made it’s debut. It’ll leave you saying Whoop-ee!

post-diver