Pumpkin puree is the star ingredient for making homemade pumpkin pies and all things pumpkin. And it’s way easier than you think to make it yourself!
Don’t you just love pumpkin?
Do you ever ask yourself at Thanksgiving why you never make pumpkin pie at any other time of the year?
But no longer! Now I have pumpkin cubes canned in my pantry. I just drain the water and throw the cubes into my handy dandy Ninja food processor, and voila!
So now I can just grab a jar anytime I want to and make a *gasp* “out of season” pumpkin pie.
I’m such a rebel!
But not everyone cans. Yet.
And since we all love everything pumpkin, I thought I would give you a how-to on making your own WAY-better-than-the-canned-stuff Pumpkin Puree.
I have several recipes on the blog that call for pumpkin puree, so I thought, why not?
Making pumpkin puree is not that hard.
Or time consuming.
You can absolutely use canned pumpkin, (which is usually a mixture of pumpkins and Butternut Squash btw), in any of the recipes here on the blog. I have measurements for both.
But it’s always fun to make your own.
But, first things first.
PLEASE do not can pumpkin puree.
If you want to can pumpkin or other winter squashes, you have to can them in cubes. It’s just not safe any other way.
You can read all about why at the National Center for Home Food Preservation website here.
Now, on to how to make pumpkin puree!
Homemade Pumpkin Puree Recipe
- Pie pumpkin
- Butter or Coconut Oil or Olive Oil
First of all, preheat your oven to 375° F.
Then get a really big knife and cut the pumpkin in half. Start by sticking the tip of the knife in the top right by the stem. Now slice downward until you get to half way across the bottom. Then turn it around and do the same thing on the other side.
The easiest thing to do now is grab the two sides at the bottom and pull them away from each other until the stem either snaps in two, or gets pulled off of one side and you have two separate pieces.
Scoop out all the seeds and stringy stuff and put them in a bowl so you can roast the seeds later.
Because roasted pumpkin seeds are amazing…
Now coat the cut edges of the pumpkin with butter or coconut oil or olive oil.
Place the cut pieces on a rimmed baking sheet or sheet pan because it may drip a little.
You can put parchment paper under the pumpkin halves if you want to help with clean up.
They can be right side up or upside down. Which ever way floats your boat.
Put it in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour. If you can stick a fork through it it’s done. 🙂
Once the pumpkin is fork-tender, you can use a spoon or ice cream scoop and scoop the insides away from the outsides easily.
I usually let the pumpkin sit until it’s cold, or at least cool, before I start scooping.
Put the insides in a blender or food processor a few chunks at a time and blend until smooth. Or use an immersion blender. Or smash them with a potato masher in a large bowl.
Put the outsides in the compost pile or chicken coop.
And now you have pumpkin puree for all the tasty pumpkin recipes in cyber space.
Most of the “pie pumpkins” make right around 3 cups, which is perfect for my Pumpkin-Thyme Soup recipe.
The 2 I roasted in these pictures made right at 6 cups. So 1 was a little more than 3 cups, and 1 was a little less.
You can do as many pumpkins at once as you want to. Just make sure there is a little space between the halves for heat circulation.
So now you know how to make your own fresh pumpkin puree from scratch for all your favorite pumpkin recipes.
Go forth and make all the Pumpkin things!
Frequently Asked Questions About Pumpkin Puree
The best pumpkins for puree are labeled “pie pumpkin” or “sugar pumpkin”. Those have the best texture and flavor because they were hybridized for eating.
The other, larger pumpkins that you find at the grocery store are grown mostly for their large size for carving. Those can still be eaten, but the carving pumpkin flesh is stringier and they don’t have as much flavor.
Yes you can. Put it in an airtight container and put it in the freezer. It will last for about 6 months frozen.
Pumpkin puree will last about 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Put it in an airtight container and store in the fridge for 3 to 5 days, or put it in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Generally speaking, any pumpkin in the grocery store should already be ripe. But if you are picking one yourself, here’s what to look for:
1.The color of the pumpkin should be pretty uniform with no large patches that are a different color.
2. The rind of the pumpkin should be hard. If you can poke your fingernail into the rind, it’s not ready to harvest yet. Unless you have those really long, pointy fingernails. If you do, let someone else check it…
3. And if you knock on the rind and the pumpkin sounds hollow inside, it’s good to go.
Here’s some recipes to use your homemade pumpkin puree:
Homemade Pumpkin Puree
- 1 pumpkin
- 1 Tbsp butter or coconut oil or olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 375° F.
- With a large knife cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff.
- Coat the cut edges of the pumpkin with butter or oil and place on a rimmed cookie sheet right side up or upside down
- Put it in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour until it's fork tender
- Let cool. Scoop the flesh away from the rind and process in a blender or food processor, or mash with a potato masher until smooth.