When I was in high school, a guy called me a hipster behind my back. At the time, I had no idea what a hipster was. I googled it and was instantly offended. Sure, I wore tights and shorts. Sure, I liked wearing sort of weird clothes. But I wore them because I liked them and they were comfy and flexible enough to do crazy stuff (read: randomly do cartwheels in the hallways). I always hated being part of the crowd or being labeled a certain way. So when I asked my Facebook followers if I should do something with pumpkin, a bunch of them virtually looked at me incredulously as if to say, “Girl. It’s fall. It’s pumpkin season. Duh, you should do something with pumpkin.”
And I felt silly. I was letting that one guy in high school who didn’t even really know me affect how I carried my day to day life, six years later. Ew, Lisa. Not cool.
So yes. I wear converse. I like houndstooth. I’m Asian. I listen to indie rock. I refuse to wear overtly branded clothing (I mean, I still wear brand names, I just don’t like wearing clothes that say AMERICAN EAGLE on the front because I’m not 18 anymore and that’s never been cool). I’m vegetarian transitioning to vegan. I have a DSLR camera. And I’m a food blogger.
So if that makes you want to call me a hipster?
BRING IT. It doesn’t change who I am.
Now all I can imagine is my friend Ben say, “FIERCE.” I’d say that’s an accurate description of how I feel right now.
Anyway, so I went and bought a pumpkin.
I’ve never roasted a pumpkin before.Â I’ve never picked a pumpkin before aside from picking pumpkins to carve.Â I’m going to join the masses and make something with pumpkin, not because everyone else is doing it, but because pumpkin is delicious and it’s in season. And I’m going to make my pumpkin stuff a little bit different.
First of all, vegan.
Second of all, totally from scratch.
None of this canned pumpkin business (although if you don’t have time to roast and purÃ©e a pumpkin, by all means, buy canned pumpkin.)
And lastly? I’m going to make it with fresh, organic pumpkin from a local farm =)
So let’s talk about how you make pumpkin purÃ©e.
First you pick a pumpkin. How? Well, you start off looking at those massive cardboard bins in the grocery store. You pick one that’s sort of hollow sounding but not too hollow, and is firm all around. Check the stem, if the stem is mouldy, go find another one.
Then you cut it in half.
Then you scoop out all the guts. Make sure you save the seeds for roasting. I’ll have a recipe for that coming up soon. Actually I found scooping out the seeds kind of a weird feeling, almost like I was gutting fish or something. I was then very very happy that I’m vegetarian.
Okay. So guts empty. Time for roasting.
Cut-side-down on aluminum-foil-lined pan. Look how orange those babies are. Cover with aluminum foil, then roast for 90 minutes until you can poke it and the skin gives way.
Remove from the oven, flip around, and scoop the soft pumpkin flesh into a food processor.
Strain to get out excess liquid, and then there you have it. Homemade pumpkin purÃ©e. I’ll have a recipe for that excess pumpkin liquid tomorrow, special extra blog post for you ;)
- 1 medium sized pie pumpkin (preferably organic)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Wash pumpkin and pat dry.
- Cut in half, widthwise, and scoop out seeds and stringy flesh. You can cut the stem off here as well, I was too lazy/forgot. Same result in the end.
- Line a baking pan with aluminum foil, then place both halves on top, cut-side down.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 90 minutes. The pumpkin should be fork-tender, or you can do the poke test: poke the skin of the pumpkin and if it gives way easily, it should be done.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- Scoop the cooled flesh into a food processor, discarding the stem and outer skin.
- PurÃ©e until you have blitzed through all the chunks.
- Now if you want, strain the pumpkin purÃ©e through a mesh sieve or better a cheesecloth. You'll probably get 1 cup of liquid, and this gives you a more concentrated pumpkin purÃ©e that has a similar consistency to canned pumpkin purÃ©e.
- Store in a jar or air-tight container for up to 1 week. Use just like you would use canned pumpkin =)