This year, we wanted to give a small gift to our neighbors to say “Thank You” for being such great neighbors, but we weren’t sure what to do. Then we saw those two pumpkins from Halloween that we never carved still sitting on the counter. Pumpkin puree for everyone! I was going to try to make the pumpkin pie filling, then our neighbors just needed to get a crust. After looking it up online most places suggested not to mix everything together until baking it. I looked up recipes online and found one for pumpkin puree, not canned pumpkin. It requires two cups of pumpkin, and we have plenty for that!
Making the Puree
The first thing we did was make the pumpkin puree. Justin cut the top off the pumpkins, then cut them in half. When you cut a pumpkin that way, it makes it really easy to clean out the insides. Once they were cleaned, we put a little bit of salt on the pumpkin halves. Using a foil-covered cookie sheet (with sides), we baked the pumpkins at 400 for about 30-45 minutes, until it was soft. We took it out of the oven and immediately placed it on a wire cooling rack to cool. Tip: Put some aluminum foil or pan underneath because it will drip and make a sticky mess. When the pumpkin was completely cooled, we scooped the pumpkin flesh out of the shell, and blended it until it was pureed.
A couple days ago, I ordered some pint-sized mason jars to use for these gifts. We filled each of these with the pureed pumpkin, enough for each of the neighbors and Tyler’s teachers. I took some burlap I have and cut it to the size of the lid and hot-glued that in. Then I wrapped some twine around the jar to give it a little bit of decoration.
I found the recipe at http://allrecipes.com/recipe/13711/homemade-fresh-pumpkin-pie/ and took the information into photoshop to make the image I wanted. I printed the recipes out (two per page) on some of my scrapbooking paper, and cut them in half. Then I folded them to make two cards out of the paper. On the front I wrote “So very Thankful for you” and decorated with some fall scrapbooking stickers. I wanted to attach the recipe to the jar, but was afraid that it would get wet from the jar and ruin.
I need to mention, the pumpkin puree needs to stay refrigerated. The pumpkin puree should be frozen if you aren’t going to use it within 4-5 days.
Make sure to check back on Wednesday and I will be posting a recipe post with the pumpkin pie recipe I linked to and the step by step photos when I bake it. Oh, and don’t worry, we already gave these to the neighbors so I’m not blowing any surprise. These are great for a Thanksgiving/Fall gift, but would also work for Christmas since a lot of families make pumpkin pie then as well. And of course, you aren’t limited to just pumpkin pie from the puree. There are many different recipes you can find using fresh pumpkin puree!