This simple one-ingredient…ingredient, can be used in a number of ways, the possibilities are endless from savory soups and sauces to sweet pumpkin pies, muffins, pancakes, parfaits, oatmeal treats, baby food, really, the diversity of this ingredient is far reaching so the list goes on and on! Plus, making your own puree is a great way to make use of those uncut Halloween pumpkins you bought and have sitting around!
In terms of what pumpkins to use for this recipe, you can essentially use this method for any pumpkin or squash, however larger field/carving pumpkins tend to be extremely fibrous, bland, and watery. For making your own puree, I highly recommend using a baking variety of pumpkin, either the sugar pie variety, the Cinderella variety, or even a butternut squash works well.
As for how to make your own puree, it’s really simple, let me show you!
After washing your pumpkins, use a knife that’s sharp enough to split them into halves, and, using a spoon, scrape out the fibrous and seeded innards in each half.
Place your de-seeded pumpkin halves (skin and all) face down on a parchment lined baking tray and pop them into your pre-heated oven to roast until tender.
The easiest way to test for doneness is to stick a pointy knife into them. The knife should slide smoothly in with little to no resistance. Once done, remove the tray from the oven and let your pumpkins cool for 10 minutes before flipping them over and letting them cool for yet another 10-15 minutes until they are able to be handled.
Once cooled, use a spoon to scrape out the flesh from the skin. The flesh should be soft and come away with ease.
The final step is to puree the roasted pumpkin flesh by using either a blender, food processor or immersion (stick) blender. The end result should be a smooth, thick, almost creamy puree that can then be used as needed or stored for later use.
Homemade Pumpkin Puree
- 3 lb pumpkin (whole)
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Cut your pumpkin(s) in half and, using a spoon, scrape out the seeds and innards.
- Place your scraped out pumpkin halves face down (cut side down) onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 30-35 minutes until a knife with a sharp point is able to slide into them with ease.
- Remove the tray from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before flipping your pumpkin halves over and allowing them to cool for a further 15-20 minutes.
- Scoop out the cooked flesh using a spoon and discard the skins.
- You can now mash your pumpkins by hand or use a food processor or an immersion (stick) blender to process it into a smooth puree.
- Store any leftover puree in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze it in containers or Ziploc bags for up to 4 months. An alternative method is to prepare them by canning them in sterilized mason jars. Doing this will allow them to be kept in the fridge for up to two months.
- I used two sugar pie pumpkins for this recipe. Carving pumpkins are not recommended due to their bland taste and stringy and watery texture.
- You can discard the innards of your pumpkins or save the seeds to roast.
- To make my puree, I opted to use an immersion (stick) blender to create a smooth and creamy puree. Hand processing using a fork or masher will not give such a smooth end result. For a good in-between texture, a food processor is recommended.
- If you find that your puree is too loose or watery, you can place it into a sauce pan on low heat and simmer (stirring occasionally) to remove some of the moisture until a thicker texture is achieved.