20 cans of pumpkin puree for $3.50?

Last weekend I decided to roast a pumpkin. I know some people only cook with the tiny expensive “pie pumpkin” variety, but I figured large cheap pumpkins could be food too. When I saw them for $3.50 each at the grocery store I figured it was worth a try. I selected the largest pumpkin I could find and toted it home. I read that some people soften a pumpkin in the microwave before they roast it, but this pumpkin was twice the size of my microwave (I told you it was large) so that was out. I also heard about people roasting the pumpkin all in one piece, but when I tried to heave the pumpkin into my preheated oven it barely fit and I had so much trouble wedging it in there I wondered how I would ever get it out.

Instead I wound up cutting the pumpkin in half. I took out the seeds but not the stringy part and turned the pumpkin halves upside down on my two largest pans with some water in them and roasted them for one hour each. After I let them cool, I was surprised at how easy it was to just peel the peel off in sheets with my hands. I didn’t have to scoop the pumpkin out or use a knife or anything. It was like buttah.

When I cut the pumpkin open I was disappointed by how big the hole was inside. I thought maybe I’d get about 10 cups of puree out of it. Wrong.

I got 40 cups of pumpkin puree out of that bad boy! Woot! I froze the pumpkin in two cup amounts figuring that two cups is roughly equivalent to a can of pumpkin. My $3.50 investment thus yielded me about 20 cans of pumpkin, plus the seeds! I think a can of pumpkin may actually be a bit less than two cups, so maybe it was more like 25 cans worth, but who’s counting? It was a great deal and much easier than I expected it would be.

In fact, I plan to do it again!

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