How to Make Pumpkin Purée

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 purée until smooth.

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

How to make Pumpkin Purée
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Pumpkin Purée

Although you technically can use a "jack-o-lantern" pumpkin, it won't taste nearly as good. Best to use a pie pumpkin, also called a Sugar Pie Pumpkin.

Course Prep
Cuisine American
Keyword pumpkin, pumpkin purée
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Yield 4 cups
Calories 88 kcal
Author Jackie Dodd

Ingredients

  • 1 sugar pie pumpkin

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.

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

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

  4. Scoop the seeds out with a spoon.

  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.

  6. Allow to cool and scoop the flesh out.

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

  8. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Pumpkin purée also freezes well.

About the Author

The Craft Beer Bites CookbookJackie Dodd’s beer-infused recipes earned her a spot as a finalist for Saveur Magazines Best Original Recipes, 2014 as well as crowned winner for Best Beer Coverage in 2015 (yes, craft beer is unprocessed). The Beeroness was also a finalist for Better Homes and Gardens Best Food Blogs, 2015. She has been seen on The Today Show, Lifetime Network, CBS News, as well as interviewed in print publications such as Imbibe, Bite and The San Francisco Chronicle. She also writes for Parade Magazine, Draft Magazine and Whisk Magazine. Jackie is the author of The Craft Beer Cookbook and The Craft Beer Bites Cookbook, and you can connect with her on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest.

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31 Comments
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Rebecca
Rebecca
October 27, 2013 6:54 pm

I have also found that if you place your halved pumpkin in a crock pot for 6 to 8 hours it comes out nice and mushy, it is also very easy to just peel the skin off. Just a helpful tip that has helped me!! 🙂

Tina
Tina
October 21, 2013 7:01 am

Can this be canned so as to not take up fridge space? And does baking kill the nutrients of the pumpkin? Wondered if you could make a raw version, hmm! Looks great, going to make today for smoothies.

Jenn
Jenn
September 4, 2014 3:17 pm
Reply to  Tina

In order to safely can pumpkin, it has to be put under extreme heat. Even pressure cooker canning does not produce enough pressure. This is a result of the density of pumpkin. The recommended way to safely keep pumpkin is to freeze for longer term storage. Using a food sealing system helps avoid freezer burn.

Terry
Terry
October 14, 2013 9:19 pm

I can hardly wait to try to make this. We weren’t sure if the small pumpkins we see everywhere here were more edible than the large carving pumpkins. Thank you so much for this post and this recipe!

Susi Castillo
Susi Castillo
October 10, 2013 4:38 pm

Gracias! Que facil!

Nadine
Nadine
October 9, 2013 7:31 pm

This is SO easy! Thank you for answering a question I’ve had for years. Looking forward to making pumpkin goodies.

Rose
Rose
October 8, 2013 5:14 pm

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

Leslie
Leslie
October 8, 2013 10:48 am

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.

Caroline
Caroline
October 8, 2013 8:20 am

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
Leslie
October 8, 2013 6:44 am

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!

Bethany
Bethany
October 7, 2013 8:48 pm

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! 🙂