How adorable, right? They have no idea what's in store for them.
Using your largest, sharpest knife, I used an 8 in. chef's knife, just cut them in half:
And then scrape out all the seeds and the fibers - save the seeds for roasting, though!
See? They should be fairly clean. I used a toothed scraper, which is why you see marks. A large spoon works well, too.
Now, set them cut-side up in a large roasting pan, add about an inch of water to the bottom of the pan and roast them in a preheated, 400°F oven for 45 minutes.
Scrape out chunks of the flesh once it's cooled a bit and not too hot to handle, and you're ready to puree it. I find that it purees better when it is warm than when it has cooled off, so I try to puree it all as soon as I can handle it without giving myself 3rd-degree burns, then I use it or pack it away in 2-cup portions in freezer bags and freeze or refrigerate it.
Ready to go!
I packed away 4 cups of the puree in the freezer, set aside another 2 cups in the fridge for this week, and used 2 cups for this delectable pumpkin-apple butter, which makes a nice spread on buttered toast. I am also thinking of possibly making baked stuffed French toast and mixing some of this with softened cream cheese as the filling.
Just a thought.
This is also incredible eaten right off a spoon.
Makes approximately 3 cups
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup apple cider, enough to almost cover the raisins. I used 1/2 cup, but had the remaining 1/4 cup ready to dilute the butter if needed.
- 2 cups pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3 whole cloves
- 2 allspice berries
- Soak 1/2 cup golden raisins in 1/2 cup - 3/4 cup cider for an hour.
- Blend together 2 cups fresh pumpkin with the raisins and cider and 1/2 cup applesauce in a food processor until nicely pureed.
- Place the puree in a sauce pan and add 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar and your favorite pie spices - I crushed up 3 cloves and 2 allspice berries, shaved in about 1/4 t of nutmeg, 1/2 t ground ginger and 2 t cinnamon - and heat over low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring to make sure it doesn't stick and burn.
- Serve :)
- This has the consistency of a thick applesauce; if you like your apple butter thicker, I'd say cook it down for another hour, but take care to stir it so that it doesn't burn on the bottom.