Friday, 8 November 2013

Homemade Pumpkin Purée


Oh I've been so busy, these past couple of weeks that I have been neglecting you, my good readers. Lots of changes happening here, one of which was that I bought a slow cooker. Wow, what a revelation it has been, such a difference it has made to everyday living! I no longer stand over boiling pots while my children do their homework, I can spend lots of time with them, that can only be good right?  

It all came about from the BBC4 The Food Programme, Cook Slow, Cook Fast.  I regularly listen back to a bunch of their podcasts while doing the ironing. They cover every aspect of food, from Mott green making chocolate in Grenada to Restaurant Reviews

One of the more recent broadcasts explored cooking with a slow cooker and the efficiency of cooking with a pressure cooker. The slow cooker caught my attention, the very idea that our dinner could cook without constant attention seemed too good to be true and all this magic using very little energy and ideal for cheaper cuts of meat...brilliant. 

I will have more recipes over the coming weeks as I test it more, but for now I had a little leftovers to tidy up. It would be unfair to say that this is a recipe, because there is only one ingredient, pumpkin. I had two small ones leftover from Hallowe'en and as I am down to my very last can of Libby's, I thought I might as well convert them both to future delicious pumpkin recipes. I used my slow cooker to do the job and I am really pleased with the finished result. 

Method
I lined the base of my ceramic insert on my slow cooker with tin foil, mainly because it would mean less cleaning, but that is up to you.


Slice the pumpkin into manageable pieces.


Place the pumpkin pieces into the ceramic liner of your slow cooker, cook on low for 3-4 hours, all of which depends on the size of your pumpkin. It is cooked when a knife can pierce the flesh easily.


Allow to cool before handling, drain off the excess liquid and scoop out the seeds and flesh with a spoon (or your hands!)


I separated the seeds from the flesh, (which I oven roasted, see below), place the flesh into a large bowl. 


Purée with a hand blender or with a liquidiser until smooth. If you prefer the purée to be less moist, then place it in a sieve over a large bowl and strain off the excess liquid. This will keep in the fridge for a couple of days or freeze in manageable portions until needed.

  

Here is how I roasted the seeds....


Preheat the oven to 190ºC/ 375ºF/Gas Mark 5. Rinse the pumpkin seeds under cold running water in a sieve, remove the remaining flesh. Dry the seeds in kitchen roll and lay in a single layer on a unlined roasting tray. Spray or drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt (or whatever spices you prefer). Toss together. Roast in the centre of the oven until golden. Remove the tray a couple of times and shake so that the seeds brown evenly. Once cooled, serve as a tasty snack!!

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