I’ve heard rumours, that there are countries in the world where you can buy pumpkin purée in a can. Here in the Netherlands however, you can pretty much only buy fresh pumpkin. If you want pumpkin purée, you’ll have to do it yourself. Which is what I’ve always done. Puréeing and then freezing your pumpkins is a great way of making that lovely pumpkin season last just a little bit longer.
We, at the Tiny Dutch Kitchen, don’t just love cooking. We also love to grow veggies in our own garden. One of the things that we’ve grown successfully for several years are pumpkins. It’s very rewarding to be able to eat something you’ve grown yourself. But some years, you can end up as a victim of your own success. Which is kind of the situation we find ourselves in at the moment.
Normally, having a good pumpkin harvest, isn’t that much of a problem. After being harvested, pumpkins will easily keep for a couple of months, as long as they’re kept cool and dry. Usually that’s plenty of time to eat them before they start to rot. This years harvest was exceptionally good however. Which left us with the problem of finding a place to store fifteen pumpkins. They ended up laying on various windowsills, pretending to be decoration. Which worked great around Halloween but was starting to look a bit odd at Christmas.
It’s now January and while pumpkins indeed keep for a long time, there are limits. The easiest way to preserve a pumpkin is to turn it into a purée, which you can then store in the freezer.
Having a ready-to-use supply of puree on hand, is also a time saver while cooking. A lot of recipes that use fresh pumpkin, start with elaborate instructions on how to cut, cook and purée your pumpkin. So turning your pumpkins into pumpkin purée is a bit time-consuming, but it does put you one step ahead if you want to make soup, sauce, cake… I could go on for a very long time, because the possibilities are almost endless. But it’s probably better to just continue with the recipe.