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Homemade pumpkin puree couldn’t be easier than this simple method! Perfect for using in all your favorite pumpkin recipes!
This time of year, apple and pumpkin recipes abound at my house. It’s like we wait all year and then can’t get enough of them as soon as the leaves even hint of turning to their beautiful fall colors.
To make all those pumpkin recipes, I start with my homemade pumpkin puree.
For years, I felt like I was taking my life in my own hands by pulling out the cleaver to cut my pumpkin in half for roasting to them make my pumpkin puree. I knew there had to be a better way!
I tried using my slow cooker method that I use for cooking my butternut squash, but found that more often than not, the pumpkin just doesn’t fit perfectly in the slow cooker.
That’s when I decided to try to bake the whole pumpkin without cutting to make homemade pumpkin puree.
Guess what? It works like a charm!
No more cutting, slicing, or mess!
I think the angels started singing!
For baking the pumpkin, I always begin with a 4 to 6 pound baking pumpkin that I’ve washed and dried. If you have space, it is just as easy to bake two or three pumpkins as it is one for making your pumpkin puree and you can easily store it in the freezer for using throughout the year!
I preheat my oven to 350º F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper to catch any dribbles that may occur.
Then, my whole pumpkin goes into the oven and bakes for an hour. After an hour, I test it by carefully piercing the side skin of the pumpkin with a small paring knife. If the knife goes into the skin easily, I know it is done. If not, I continue to cook in 15 minute increments until it does.
Once it has cooked, I remove the pan from my oven and let it set for an hour. It will still be warm after an hour, but I found that cutting into it any earlier than that releases so much steam that it was too hot to handle. The resting time also allows the pumpkin to continue to have carryover cooking with all that steam inside the pumpkin. It makes that pumpkin puree just so smooth and glorious.
After an hour, I use a chef’s knife and cut the pumpkin in half from stem to bottom. Don’t try cutting the stem portion in half as it is still too tough. Just cut to the side of it and then through the baked pumpkin.
Now is time to clean out the seeds and pulpy membrane from the pumpkin. Use a spoon and just scoop those out and onto the parchment paper as I did in the photo above or into a bowl. Don’t discard these! You’ll want to use the seeds for roasting later and the pulpy bits are treats for chickens and great for the compost bin!
You’ll then scoop the pumpkin out of the shell and put into a blender or food processor for making your puree as smooth as possible. I will say that I’ve made it using a potato masher before and while it wasn’t the smoothest puree, it was mighty easy!
Once you’ve added to your blender or food processor, just pulse until your pumpkin puree is the consistency you want. You may need to remove the lid and scrape the sides a time or two to make sure that all of the pumpkin is smooth.
Everytime I make my pumpkin puree, I have to smile at the memory of making Sam’s baby food this same way – from butternut squash, sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, and yes, even pumpkin, every weekend I was busy roasting vegetables and fruits to puree for his food for the week.
I’d watched the Diane Keaton movie Baby Boom before Sam was born and knew I wanted to try my hand at making his baby food myself like my Grandmother and mother had done, too!
Gosh, I miss those days!
Once I’ve made my pumpkin puree, I prep it for storing in the freezer. I portion the pumpkin puree into freezer safe zip top bags. I like to have some as ½ cup portions and some as 1 cup. That way, I can just grab a bag based on what the recipe calls for.
When Sam was a baby, I would use a ice tray, place it into the freezer to freeze overnight and then pop the little cubes of frozen fruits and veggies into zip top freezer bags to use later.
Homemade Pumpkin Puree Recipe
- 1 4-6 pound baking pumpkin
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- Place pumpkin on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet and place into oven. Bake until a paring knife can easily be inserted into the skin of the pumpkin, about 1 hour.
- Remove the pumpkin from the oven and allow to cool for about 30 minutes. Slice the pumpkin in half with a knife, and then scoop out the seeds and membrane from the inside of the pumpkin, saving the seeds for roasting.
- Scoop out the soft pumpkin flesh with a large spoon and place into blender and puree. Strain to remove any remaining stringy pieces and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer for several months.
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Thanks for sharing how to do this! I know that there are so many people who have never even tried and it’s so much better making it at home!
I think it is so much better, too! The flavor of the pumpkin is definitely more pronounced and I just can’t get enough of it! 🙂
Would this be the same consistency you would use for a pie? Thanks!
Yes! This works perfectly in any recipe that calls for pumpkin puree – like pies, breads, muffins, and even savory dishes. I hope you enjoy it!
We are kindred spirits today.
I grow “Winter Luxury Pumpkins” which are AWESOME for baking especially pumpkin pie.
I use a hand saw (dedicated to the kitchen) for cutting my pumpkins and winter squash. Last year I baked them whole but I had a harder time getting all the seeds out.
I too made all my babies food. So easy and so much healthier. They had the usual plus things like broccoli and asparagus. Miss those days.
We are! Weren’t those days fun!? I’m enjoying this stage too, but so glad that I took that extra little bit of time way back when on the weekends to make it.
Oh goodness, I’ve always had the seeds and membrane practically fall out when I bake it whole and am totally impressed with your hand saw in the kitchen. I would seriously hack off a hand! 🙂
Thanks, Robyn, for sharing this! It sounds so easy. Can’t wait to try it!
It is by far the simplest method that I’ve found that works every single time. I hope you find it useful!
Just tried it and it was very easy. Cannot wait to use it in a pie. First time I will use fresh, not canned
I’m so glad you gave it a try, Dorothy! Isn’t it easy?! It makes such amazing pies and goodies!
Thanks so much! xo
Just bought two sugar pie pumpkins yesterday and I am so delighted to get this method of cutting into the pumpkin. Never thought about cooking them first….genius!
I hope you find this method as useful as I have. I am all about ease without the scare of cutting myself when hacking into a pumpkin (or butternut squash)! Enjoy! xo
Your recipes and cooking tricks are really good!
Being a vegetarian I only use your vegetarian recipes.
I have also made adaptations from your cakes to make non-eggy ones as we also do not eat eggs!
Thanks Robyn to you as well as your ma and grandma for the cooking insights you have inherited.
Oh, thank you so much! I am glad that you find the tips, tricks and recipes useful and are able to make adaptations to fit your needs! xo
Do you think that the puréed pumpkin could be water bath canned for longer term storage? This sounds SO yummy and easy!
I do think that it could be. I haven’t done that yet as I go through it so quickly that I just store it in the freezer.
One year our batchelor friend loaded me down with 28 pumpkins as a joke he never thought I would process them all did give away some,but most don’t want the work of them. But I did them I used my pressure canner & pressure cooker to cook them,that sure is fast.I froze the puree.Its not recomended that that you can it, as it is low acid & they say to cut it in chunks & can it that way in pressure canner.I love canning time.
That’s awesome, Deborah! You certainly got the last laugh – and some delicious pumpkin – out of that joke! It’s really to make the puree and oh so good when you use it in those pumpkin treats! I like to freeze it as well. Thanks so much! xo
I freeze mine in muffin pans. It measures out at 1/2 cup per muffin cup. Once they are frozen I pop the puree out and bag it. Easy to use in recipes and I don’t have to scrape out a bag.
That is so smart, Jennifer!
Tried this today and you are right – it worked like a charm. It was so easy and the pumpkin tastes so much better roasted. Can’t wait to make my pumpkin pie tomorrow.
Hi, I live in Australia. What would be the equivalent pumpkin here.for the purée. I would love to make purée for pumpkin pies etc…. we have Kent and Queensland Blue. 1 is very dark flesh and nutty. My favourite is Kent. I dislike a light colour and mild taste pumpkin. Curious to know what a Roasting pumpkin is…
Kind regards.. Rozlyn Conway
We just bought some carving pumpkins from Coles!!! They will work just fine!
Hope you enjoy the pumpkin puree! Thanks so much, Angi!
i cant wait to try this!! Thanks for sharing! I love your cookbook and have so enjoyed my new mixed and the knives are awesome! The cast iron gets used almost daily!!! Thanks again!
I’m so glad you are enjoying everything and so happy you are loving the cookbook! This pumpkin puree is really simple to make and so good in so many recipes! I hope you enjoy it!
Thanks so much, Nancy!
I was always disappointed when I made pumpin puree, because it wasn’t the same rich, orange color as solid pack pumpkin out of a can–until I found out that canned pumpkin isn’t pumpkin at all! It’s mostly Hubbard squash.
That is so interesting, Taja! I love fresh homemade pumpkin puree so much better! I hope you enjoy this method if you give it a try! Thanks for sharing that with me! 🙂
I make my pumpkin puree in the same way but add one more step. After pureeing I cooked it down a bit evaporating off some of the water and concentrating the sweetness. This can be done on the stove-top or in the oven.
Thanks for sharing how you make yours, Lisa! I bake mine at the beginning and love the results of the puree – and how easy it is to process! I know yours is absolutely delicious too!
So excited it’s pumpkin time again! Thanks! xo