Homemade Pumpkin Puree – Easy as Pie! 11


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Fall means pumpkin, right? Pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin everything! And it makes sense, because fall is when pumpkin is ripe. Or it used to make sense. These days the pumpkin we use for recipes is often the canned variety and quite likely from seasons past. (Think about it: If pumpkins in the field are just ripening now, where did that big stockpile of canned pumpkin come from? Not this year’s crop, that’s for sure!) And those cans it comes in? They’re likely lined with BPA. The good news is, making homemade pumpkin puree is pretty painless.

Your favorite pumpkin dessert just got better! Homemade pumpkin puree has much more flavor than store bought and it's EASY to make.

We use locally grown kabocha pumpkin, which we’ve found to be excellent in our favorite pumpkin desserts. You can use pumpkins from your garden or whatever you can find locally. You can even — gasp! — use other winter squash. According to this, that’s probably what you’re getting in canned pumpkin anyway.

Your favorite pumpkin dessert just got better! Homemade pumpkin puree has much more flavor than store bought and it's EASY to make.

Making Homemade Pumpkin Puree

  • Cut pumpkin in half. (Honestly, this is probably the hardest part! I recommend a sharp knife.)
  • Scoop out seeds. If it’s an heirloom variety, you can save seeds for replanting. You can also make roasted pumpkin seeds for a snack.
  • Place pumpkin halves flat side down in a baking dish or on a jelly roll pan.
  • Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes. This will depend on the size of your pumpkin and oven temperature is a bit flexible. Ideally, you’ll bake your pumpkin when you’ve already got your oven on for something else to save energy.
  • Use a knife to test for doneness. They should be quite soft. I often turn the oven off and leave the pumpkins in it to continue cooking in the residual heat.
  • Allow pumpkin to cool.
  • Scoop flesh out of shell with a spoon. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator. You can also freeze cooked pumpkin for future use. (It is NOT safe to can pumpkin, even if you use a pressure canner.)

The cooked pumpkin will be a bit more coarse than the canned variety at this point. Mixing it into a recipe usually smooths it out sufficiently, but if you need a really fine puree you can pop it into a food processor, blender, or tackle it with a potato masher before you use it.

Incidentally, parents: You’ve just made homemade baby food! (My boys loved pumpkin puree when they were babies.)


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11 thoughts on “Homemade Pumpkin Puree – Easy as Pie!

  • Deb

    I’ll bet you could just use your kitchen aid mixer to mix it before you freeze it. You can also can it .

  • Flavia W

    You might want to mention that the pumpkins grown for Jack O Lanterns are generally poor for eating — unless you *enjoy* eating pulped cardboard… Tasteless watery flesh, they are bred for size, shape, and color, not for taste. Your chickens might like them later, though?

  • Sheri

    I’m going to see if I can find a local grower of this kabocha pumpkin, the Skagit Valley here in Washington is known for it’s pumpkins. I’ve used some other ones and make a wonderful “Pumpkin Butter with Port Wine” every year for Christmas gift giving. Tried it one year without the Port Wine and it just wasn’t the same.

  • Sonia (foodiesleuth)

    Hi, Kris…It was good seeing you yesterday…Mahalo for sharing the yacón…can’t wait to start playing with it and come up with some fun recipes.

    Do you mind sharing the recipe for the maple pumpkin custard your son makes? We love pumpkin desserts and that sounds lovely.

  • Grandma Joyce

    …..”you’ve already got your oven on…..” Do not slaughter the King’s English, please! You actually are saying “you have already got your oven on”, which is a double intendre. Instead write, “you already have your oven turned on.”

    We were given a huge “sweet meat” pumpkin, which after pureeing went into the freezer for future use. It REALLY is the best ever for making pies or tarts. We found it in Oregon on a farm in the Wylamette (sic?) Valley. Grown in temperate climates only. Difficult to find elsewhere.

    • Kris Bordessa Post author

      Why, thank you for the English lesson, Grandma! It’s Willamette. And your last two sentences are fragments lacking a subject. Certainly, this may be stylistic but two in a row is a bit overdone, don’t you think? You might want to change your sentence to: Grown in temperate climates only, they are difficult to find elsewhere.

      (I couldn’t resist. 😉 Glad you enjoyed your pumpkin.)

  • Deb

    I have also read that cheese pumpkins make a nice pie ..

    • Kris Bordessa Post author

      I’m not familiar with cheese pumpkins!