How to Make Pumpkin Purée

The Craft Beer Cookbook by Jacquelyn DoddJackie Dodd is a Seattle-based recipe developer, food photographer, and food writer. She runs two food web sites: Domestic Fits, which combines original recipes with “how-to” cooking and baking tips, and The Beeroness, which focuses on cooking and baking with craft beer (yes, craft beer is unprocessed). Her first book, The Craft Beer Cookbook, contains 100 imaginative recipes for cooking with beer. You can connect with her on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest.

How to make Pumpkin Purée

Sooooo, you want to Pumpkin All The Things but you took a pledge to ban the cans? I got you covered. And really, it’s simple. Turning a pumpkin into a pumpkin flavored treat is really easy, just takes a bit of time. But you can totally do this, and your unprocessed life will soon be filled with pumpkin scones, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin soup, and pumpkin toothpaste (oh wait…).

First, lets talk about the pumpkins. What pumpkins can be used? Can you make pie out of those Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins you buy your kids at the grocery store? What is a pie pumpkin?

You can eat any variety of pumpkin; all are squash and all are edible but not all pumpkins are grown to be eaten, so the variety you use will affect your results. (Be careful not confuse pumpkins with gourds – those are not edible.)

Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins have been bred for decades for qualities that have nothing to do with taste. Although still technically edible, the flavors are not taken into account when breeding. Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins are now bred for thick skin that can hold up to carving, as well as a heartiness to survive after being carved, and set outside with a candle stuck in its guts. Look for a pie pumpkin, most commonly called a Sugar Pie Pumpkin. They’re small, about the size of a cantaloupe. If you’re confused, jut ask your grocer.

Let’s get started.

1. Preheat oven to 375° F.

2. Remove the stem by running a butter knife around the edges and then prying it off.

How to make Pumpkin Purée

3. Cut the pumpkin in half, right through the hole left by the stem.

How to make Pumpkin Purée

4. Scoop the seeds out with a spoon.

[Andrew adds: Don’t toss those pumpkin seeds! Although it’s a rather slimy process, if you separate out the seeds, you can roast them in the oven for a fantastic Fall snack. Here’s a good tutorial on how to do it.]

How to make Pumpkin Purée

5. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place pumpkins on baking sheets, cover tightly with aluminum foil. Roast at 375° for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until a fork can easily slide into the skin.

How to make Pumpkin Purée

6. Allow to cool and scoop the flesh out.

How to make Pumpkin Purée

7. Add to a food processor and puree until smooth.

8. Store in an air-tight container. Pumpkin puree also freezes well.

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29 Comments on "How to Make Pumpkin Purée"

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Christina
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2 years 9 months ago

Thanks, Jackie! I have a pie pumpkin sitting on my counter and was going to look up how to cook the little sucker, but you saved me a ‘google search’! 😉

Leslie
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Leslie
2 years 9 months ago

There is an easier way yet. Take the stem off – or not. Cut in half width wise rather than vertically. Scoop seeds out. Put the halves back together. To the rest the same or put through a food mill/sieve.
You can get twice the pumpkin in the oven this way.
I have 28 pumpkins to roast, so discovered this works much better!

You cannot can/bottle puree’. There has been no safe way researched for home canners. You can bottle cubed, but not puree’d. Just FYI.

Coco
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Coco
2 years 9 months ago

This is another addition to my recipes for this coming Thanksgiving weekend (in Canada). Canadians deserve extra pat in the back for surviving Thanksgiving and Halloween when completing October Unprocessed!!

Lindsay
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Lindsay
2 years 9 months ago

Pumpkins can also be steamed instead of baked. I did it over the weekend, and the skin peeled right off – no scooping necessary!

Rose
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Rose
2 years 9 months ago

How do you steam them? I’d like to try this. I also need more pumpkin recipes besides pies and cookies. Thanks!

Lindsay
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Lindsay
2 years 9 months ago

I cut them into quarters, and with the skin still on put them in a double boiler on the stove. Took about 20-30 min of utterly ignoring them, and when a fork could easily be poked through I took them out, let them cool, and removed the skins. Easy as (pumpkin) pie.

Holly
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2 years 9 months ago

Here’s a recipe on my blog for gluten free pumpkin donuts. 🙂
http://anotherdamncookingblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/06/gluten-free-pumpkin-cake-donut-holes/

Dana @ FoodieGoesHealthy
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2 years 9 months ago

I freeze homemade pumpkin purée in half pint jam jars. It’s like having my own supply of “canned” pumpkin purée.

Stephanie Olmsted
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Stephanie Olmsted
2 years 9 months ago

How long is is good in freezer? Stocking up.. maybe.

Jess
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Jess
2 years 9 months ago

you were reading my mind!! thanks for posting!!! I will be working on this asap.

Marni S.
Guest
2 years 9 months ago

You may also want to let some of the excess moisture drip out of it first for super thick pumpkin like the kind that comes in the can. Line a strainer with cheese cloth or paper coffee filters, place over a dish to catch the juice, place the pumpkin on the cheese cloth or filters and let sit in the fridge overnight. And you can add the excess juice to your next pot of soup for extra flavor and nutrients!

lola
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lola
2 years 9 months ago

Instead of food processor, dump the puree into a Kitchen Aid mixer and wallah….works like a charm. Then I process mine into ziploc bags and freeze…I used it for up to a year.

Jen Leigh
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Jen Leigh
2 years 9 months ago

I cut the stem off, then cut it in half. After getting the seeds out to roast I use a potato peeler to get the outer skin off, then cut in chunks and steam. If you steam them, there is less liquid and the consistency is perfect for pies. If you decide to spice your pie mix before freezing only use half the spices. Freezing makes the taste of the spices really strong.

Kelly
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Kelly
2 years 9 months ago

Jen, how do you steam the chunks?

Bethany
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Bethany
2 years 9 months ago

If the pumpkin is small enough or your crockpot is large enough, it works to just put it in whole with maybe 1/2-1 cup water on low or high. It’s done when you can prick it easily with a fork. Then the whole thing is soft enough to easily cut open and scoop everything out with very little effort. I do this with acorn or butternut squash as well. It’s so nice to not have to pierce or cut prior to cooking. You can put the whole pumpkin on a tray in the oven as well to bake and once soft, cut and scoop. Plus, this is so easy to do before work! Put in pumpkin and 1 cup of water on the crockpot low setting and it’s ready when you come home from work! 🙂

Leslie
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Leslie
2 years 9 months ago

You can either steam or add a small amount of water and slowly boil them. Steaming is done in a double boiler (at least the way I do it). Can also steam the cubed pumpkin in the microwave – thicker puree’ when fully cooked.

Frozen – any book about preserving will say 6 months. But a full 12-18 months before the flavor starts to diminish.

You can also store the actual pumpkin for up to 5 months in a cool dark place. So if you don’t want to freeze them all instantly, you don’t have.

Recipes – do a search at any of the cooking sites for pumpkin recipes. You’ll be shocked at how many there are!

Caroline
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Caroline
2 years 9 months ago

Can someone approximate how much pumpkin you get from a sugar pie pumpkin if it’s about the size of a canteloupe? I want to make my pumpkin for the season at once – for pumpkin roll, bread, pies, and cookies!

Leslie
Guest
Leslie
2 years 9 months ago

I can’t get to the exact comment – pissing me off the link doesn’t work.
BUT – Caroline asked how much a cantelope-sized pumpkin will yield – My guess is about a pint (2 C). If you want your puree thicker, you’ll have to cook it down and will yield about 75% of the above # – or 1 1/2 C.

My pumpkins are roughly twice the size you describe and are yielding an average of a quart.

Rose
Guest
Rose
2 years 9 months ago

Thanks everyone! That helps. Wasn’t sure how much water to use, but the crock pot idea sounds good!

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