How to Make Fresh Pumpkin Puree
Tis the season!
I’m such a huge fan of pumpkin.
Pumpkin puree in my homemade coffee syrup.
Pumpkin puree in my oatmeal.
Even pumpkin puree in my red Thai curry. Ooooh, yeah.
I’ll eat it sweet or savory. Either way, it’s pretty much a free-for-all around here until Thanksgiving.
I’m an even BIGGER fan of pumpkins with multiple purposes. Our local farm stand has sugar pumpkins for cheap, so I buy a bunch of them, decorate around the house and make it look all Fall-y festive, and then I eat them.
That almost sounds mean.
But isn’t it great to have multi-purpose things?! I am a total minimalist wannabe, so multi-purpose gets me excited.
Décor AND food.
Plus, nothing beats fresh pumpkin puree. Seriously.
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What about you?
Are you sick of hearing about pumpkin, or are you just as excited as I am? Can’t get enough pumpkin, either?
Well, you’re in good company.
If you want to give your hand a go at the best and easiest homemade pumpkin puree, here are some things you’ll need to know before we get to the nitty-gritty.
You’ll need to break off the stem on that pumpkin.
The easiest way I’ve found is to turn the pumpkin sideways and hang the stem over the edge of the counter. That way you can apply enough force to bust it off…I’ve also heard you can hit it off with a rolling pin, or something, too. I’ve never tried it, but it might even be therapeutic.
You’ll need to cut the pumpkin in half, which can be slightly challenging.
I recommend using a sharp butcher knife. Dull knife=dangerous knife. Ask any chef. Work slow, and don’t let the knife go further than about three inches into the pumpkin, because it can get stuck more easily if you do.
Which pumpkins should you use?
Pretty much any variety will actually work, but the best tasting pumpkin (to me) is the sugar or pie pumpkin. These are usually really easy to get your hands on this time of year, as well.
But do you have a pumpkin you want to use from the pumpkin patch? The big ol’ Jack-O-Lantern kind? You actually CAN cook and eat it! I’ve done it.
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Now, the taste isn’t as sweet or full to me, though, so it’s not necessarily the best choice.
What tools do you need to make pumpkin puree?
You’ll definitely need a high-powered blender or a food processer. I seriously love my commercial Vitamix blender, but if you need something that is less expensive, this Hamilton Beach Food Processor has been a total gem in my kitchen and will work great for pureeing pumpkin.
I can’t believe how much it’s able to do, and I recommend it all the time. It’s a beast…and especially for the price. I also had great customer service when I blew the motor trying to force a double batch of homemade Lara bars in it.
Yeah, totally on me. Who wouldn’t want MORE Lara bars, though?!
Anyway, as long as you have a great blender or food processor, you really will be able to make pumpkin puree. Easy.
So let’s go.
Pumpkin everything is waiting.
- sugar pumpkins, as many as you want
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F
- Break off the stem on your pumpkin and quickly wash the outside. Dry the pumpkin well so it’s not slippery!
- Cut the pumpkin in half (doesn’t need to be perfect!) and scoop out the seeds and guts with a spoon. If you want to eat the seeds, place them in cool water as you scoop so that you can roast those next. My kids loved helping me with this part!
- Lay the pumpkin halves flesh down on a rimmed cookie sheet and place them in the oven
- Pour water into the pan, around the pumpkin, until it’s about ¼ inch deep
- Bake for 1 hour. Pierce the skin with a fork to check for doneness. If the fork easily pierces the pumpkin skin, you’re good to go.
- Take them out of the oven and allow the pumpkin to cool
- Once the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, simply scoop the pumpkin flesh out of the skin and put it in your blender or food processor. It took me a few batches since it didn’t all fit into the blender at once
- Blend until completely smooth
- Now, all that’s left is to strain the excess water out of your pumpkin puree. To do this, place a cheese cloth or tea towel in a mesh strainer and put that over a bowl. Pour all of your pumpkin puree into the colander and let it sit for an hour or two, stirring every so often to help work the water out. I also like to pull up the cloth and give it a few good squeezes a couple times to coax it along
- Now you can enjoy some fresh pumpkin puree!
- It’s perfect to can yourself or, my preferred easy storing method, to freeze in freezer-safe bags or containers
Need something to bake with this pumpkin puree RIGHT now?! These Gluten Free and Vegan Pumpkin Scones are delicious and cozy
What’s your favorite way to eat pumpkin?