Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree in 5 Easy Steps

Fresh pumpkin puree is easier to make than you might think. But even if it weren’t, it would be worth the trouble. Making puree out of pumpkins leftover from Halloween keeps all that great food out of the trash. When you make your own puree, you can make your own delicious pumpkin seeds, too. The flavor of fresh pumpkin is much richer than what you get in a can. And since most cans are lined with a film that contains BPA, a chemical compound linked to a variety of health ailments, when you make your own puree, you are getting pumpkin that’s healthier and safer to eat.

Here are the 5 steps I follow every year to make my own pumpkin puree:

1) Buy pumpkins known as “sugar” pumpkins. They’re not the big round ones you’d use for jack o’lanterns (though you can cook up your jack o’lanterns following these steps, as well), but are smaller and will be sold as “pie” pumpkins or “sugar” pumpkins. You want one that weighs around four or fivepounds. On average, one pound of pumpkin will yield one cup of puree.

photo by Diane MacEachern

photo by Diane MacEachern

2) Cut the pumpkin in half. If you can’t cleave it straight through, just start at one end of the stem and push a sharp knife all the way around on the half line until you get to the other end of the stem, then pull the two halves apart. Scoop out the seeds, but don’t worry about getting all the strings out. I use a big tablespoon to dig out the seeds, but you could also use a melon baller or even an ice cream scoop. Set the seeds aside to toast up later.

photo by Diane MacEachern

photo by Diane MacEachern

3. Turn the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and get out a large roasting pan or 9×13 cake pan. You need something that has about an inch-high rim all around. Add water, then put the pumpkins cut-side down into the water. If you have pieces of pumpkin rather than an entire half, you will need to cover the pan so that the pieces will cook effectively. Otherwise, the pumpkin rind does the job of keeping the pumpkin moist and helping it cook more quickly.

 

 

photo by Diane MacEachern

photo by Diane MacEachern

4. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a sharp knife easily pierces the pumpkin rind and goes all the way through. Then remove from the oven and let cool. When they’re easy to handle, flip over each pumpkin half and dig out the cooked pumpkin, putting it in a glass container to use later or in a blender or food processor. Set aside some of the pan water in case you need it for cooking.

 

 

 

photo by Diane MacEachern

photo by Diane MacEachern

5. Puree the cooked pumpkin in a food processor with a food mill or in a blender. You need it very blended for a pie, so add some of that reserved pan water if you need to. If you’re going to use the puree to make soup, pumpkin bread or a stew, the pulp can have a little more texture. It’s hard to tell from this photo, but I made about 4 cups of puree from the pumpkinI cut up and cooked.

That’s all there is to it, at least in my kitchen. How do you do it?

NOTE: Some people like the flavor and texture of the pulp they get from the so-called “cheese” pumpkin, the one that looks a little like Cinderella’s carriage. Regardless of which pumpkin you use, cook one you enjoy eating.

Related
10 Pumpkin Recipes for the Fall
DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe That’s GMO Free
Top 3 Health Benefits of Pumpkin for Pets

 

111 comments

Jetana A
Jetana A10 days ago

They're hard to cut, so just bake whole. Easy to scoop out the seeds, then pulp from the soft baked pumpkin.

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Jan S
Jan S10 days ago

Thank you

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Roxana Saez
Roxana Saez23 days ago

TYFS

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Mike R
Mike R23 days ago

Thanks

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Mike R
Mike R23 days ago

Thanks

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Emma Z
Emma Z25 days ago

Thanks

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Kathryn I
Kathryn I26 days ago

I love pumpkin, and the pumpkin puree looks very good! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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Paulo R
Paulo Reeson27 days ago

ty

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Paulo R
Paulo Reeson27 days ago

ty

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Ann B
Ann B28 days ago

lot of work for one pie...i wonder who has that time????

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