In a previous recipe, I mentioned that canned pumpkin puree is hard to find in Japan. Therefore when I want to make pumpkin spice muffins or anything else using pumpkin puree, I need to make my own.
American pumpkin puree is usually made with butternut squash, but I made this recipe with Kabocha as it is the most popular type of winter squash available in Japan. Kabocha has a texture that is similar to sweet potatoes, and the recipe below will result in a drier pumpkin mash than the canned variety. Add some millk or other liquid to achieve the correct “puree” consistency.
1. Cut pumpkin in quarters. Cutting into smaller pieces means a shorter cooking time, but the cut surface can easily dry out.
2. Discard stem and pulp. I find that using a large spoon makes it easy to remove the stringy insides.
3. Wrap each piece tightly in foil, and place in an oven preheated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit / 190 degrees Celsius. Bake for 1.5 hours, or until a toothpick goes in smoothly.
4. Cool slightly, and remove skin. Puree or mash.
(and yes, my kitchen surface is really that small)
I froze the resulting pumpkin puree in freezer bags so that I can continue to use it this fall. With no additional ingredients, this is a super healthy recipe!