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Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Easy to make Homemade Pumpkin Puree can be used in all of your favorite pumpkin recipes.

Dark orange smooth puree in clear plastic container.

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE PUMPKIN PUREE

Our last house had a pumpkin farm across the street, and every Fall, I’d go over to get some pumpkins to make pumpkin puree for my pound cake, pumpkin cheesecakes, or smoothies.

Guess what? My recipe requires only one ingredient—an eating pumpkin. You can use salt, but I don’t. This recipe is not just for pumpkins; you can easily swap out pumpkins for butternut or acorn squash. I made an acorn cake, and it was delicious.

WHICH PUMPKIN DO I CHOSE?

Don’t be tempted to use decorative pumpkins like Howdon biggy and Connecticut field. These decorative pumpkins are tasteless. So what are the best pumpkins for making pumpkin puree?

Sugar pie pumpkins often called pie pumpkins or sugar pumpkins, are great to use. It’s a given, sugar pumpkins produce the sweet pumpkin puree. These pumpkins are usually medium or dark orange. They are small, more rounded with a solid texture. Sugar pumpkins are also less fibrous than carving pumpkins (jack-o-lantern), making them an excellent choice for cooking and baking. And they feel heavy for their size.

If you can’t find sugar pumpkins there are other pumpkin eating varieties that you can use. I picked up this lovely Muscat pumpkin at a local market.

Half of fresh pumpkin on a granite counter.

Remember, no two pumpkin varieties are the same. Two pumpkin varieties will produce two different pumpkin purees. You can see in the image below, that the top puree is of mustard color, and the bottom is deep orange. Each variety will also vary in taste, sweetness, and consistency, some are more watery than others. The bottom, the deep orange puree, was super sweet, and the top one was mildly sweet with a lovely earthy flavor.

Yellow and orange pumpkin puree in plastic containers.

ROAST PUMPKIN

I like to roast pumpkins. First, I wash the pumpkin and I slice it into thick more manageable pieces (step 1). You can line the baking sheet with parchment for an easy clean up. Bake the pumpkin until the flesh is very soft, not just fork tender (step 2).

Sliced pumpkin on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

Keep baking the pumpkin until you can easily tear the pumpkin flesh with the fork (steps 1-3). It takes about an hour or so.

Hand holding a fork stuck in a cooked pumpkin.

PUMPKIN FLESH

With a spoon discard the seeds. Remove pumpkin flesh from the skin (image 1). Place pumpkin flesh into a bowl (image 2).

Seeds and skin of cooked pumpkin on parchment.

PUREE PUMPKIN FLESH

An immersion blender works great for pureeing soft pumpkin flesh into a smooth, delicious puree (steps 1-4).

Orange bowl with cooked pumpkin.

HOW TO THICKEN HOMEMADE PUMPKIN PUREE?

Suppose your fresh pumpkin puree is too watery for your liking. It’s an easy fix. Cook it down to evaporate the excess water and make it thicker. Pour puree into a wide skillet and heat it to simmer. Stir frequently to prevent scorching. Heat until it’s dense to your liking.

Puree in a cooking skillet.

HOW LONG DOES HOMEMADE PUMPKIN PUREE LAST?

Fresh pumpkin puree will last for up to a week in the fridge. Store it in an airtight container.

WHAT TO DO WITH PUMPKIN PUREE?

Detail of dark orange puree.

CAN FRESH PUMPKIN PUREE BE FROZEN?

Yes, you can freeze the puree in Ziploc bags or freezer-safe containers for up to 6 months (step 1). Freeze Ziploc bags filled with puree flat on a tray and then once frozen you can easily stack the bags.

However, the frozen puree will have about 9% more water when thawed (step 2). This is normal due to the water expansion when frozen. If the puree is too watery, you can cook the puree down in a skillet to evaporate the water and make the puree thicker.

Frozen pumpkin puree in plastic containers.
Thick puree in a plastic container.
Homemade Pumpkin Puree
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
 

Makes about 4-5 cups thick pumpkin puree.

1 serving is about 1/4 cup (60ml)

Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Spreads
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade pumpkin puree, pumpkin puree, squash puree
Servings: 20 servings
Hanielas.com: Hani
Ingredients
HOMEMADE PUMPKIN PUREE
  • 1 fresh pumpkin, 4-6 pounds (1.8kg -2.7kg)
  • 1 tsp salt (optional)
Instructions
HOMEMADE PUMPKIN PUREE
  1. Preheat oven to 400F

  2. Rinse the pumpkin. Cut in half and slice it into thick pieces.

    Line a baking sheet with parchment.

    Arrange pumpkin pieces on a baking sheet in one layer. Sprinkle with salt if using.

Bake
  1. Bake pumpkin for about an hour; or until the flesh is very soft. Not just fork tender. The flesh should easily tear when you use a fork.

    Remove baked soft pumpkin from the oven, and allow to cool for a couple of hours.

Remove Flesh
  1. Use a spoon to remove the seeds.

    Into a mixing bowl spoon all the soft pumpkin flesh. Discard the skin.

Puree
  1. Puree pumpkin flesh with an immersion blender or use a food processor, pulse until smooth.

Cooking Down Water Puree
  1. If the puree is too watery, pour it into a wide skillet and cook it down to evaporate the excess water and make it thicker.

Recipe Notes

HOW LONG DOES PUREE LAST? – In the fridge for up to a week.

CAN FRESH PUMPKIN PUREE BE FROZEN? Yes, you can freeze it for up to 6 months. Frozen puree, when thawed, can contain more water; this is normal. All you need to do is cook it down in a skillet to evaporate excess liquid.

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4 Comments

  1. Hi Hani. In Australia we regularly get bright orange Kent , or butternut pumpkins which are pale. Love making pumpkin pies and individual tarts but find them way too watery. By heating the puree will it make it too dark and lose that vibrant colour? Thanks for your great cookie and cake tutorials. 👏🏼👏🏾😍🧡

    1. Hi Ruby,
      Thank you for sharing Ruby.
      You can also try letting it strain thru a cheesecloth or a fine mesh sieve. I would let it sit overnight and see if it helps resolving the water issue.
      I haven’t noticed any dramatic color change when cooking the puree down to evaporate water.

  2. This brings back fond memories of my mother making pumpkin pies. She refused to use canned pumpkin! My mother used neck pumpkins. The taste really is better than canned. I hope to find sugar pumpkins this fall.

    1. Hi June,
      I think our grandmothers were alike. Mine, refused to ever use store-bought pasta. There are so many varieties that can be use to make the puree. If you can’t find any
      sugar pumpkins you can use any eating pumpkin. Have a great rest of the summer, June.♥

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