I started with 7 pie pumpkins. To roast my pumpkins I cut them in half (through the stem and blossom-end), scooped out the seeds and stringy stuff (not an easy task), and placed them--cut side down--on a rimmed baking sheet. Some people say to add water to the pan, but I decided I didn't want to add any moisture, since I would already need to press out pumpkin liquid anyway.
The whole process took up much of the day, and when I was done I considered my homemade puree. I considered the cost of the pie pumpkins and the time and trouble it took to make; I considered the amount of puree I ended up with, about 12 cups from my 7 pumpkins.
And then I considered the reasons why I make things from scratch:
- Making things from scratch saves me money. 1 29-oz can of pumpkin contains 3 1/2 cups puree. I can get a 29-oz can for about $2.50. I bought 7 pie pumpkins, we'll say at an average of $5 each--that's $35 on pumpkins--and got 12 cups puree. That works out to $2.91 per cup. The canned puree works out to less than .75 per cup. This definitely did not save me money.
- Things made from scratch taste better, are better quality, or help me rotate my food storage. While my homemade puree smelled really good (though not terribly different than canned), it cooked up the same way as canned puree in some Pumpkin Cinnamon Bun Cake. I'm going to try it in pumpkin pie, too, but I imagine my results will be similar. And making the puree didn't do anything to help me rotate my food storage.
- I make things from scratch because I enjoy it. I did not enjoy making this puree. It was quite a let-down, actually. Is it because I made so much at one time? Could be. But I'm not going to make small amounts; it's too much work and I use too much pumpkin puree in my cooking and baking.
All in all, I don't imagine I'll make homemade pumpkin puree again (unless I grow some pie pumpkins in my garden next year, but that's a different deal). I'm glad I did it this time for the experience, but the cost and work involved just isn't worth it.