Organic pumpkin puree can be pricey. Whole organic pumpkins and other local winter squash can often be found for a deal this time of year. Thankfully, learning how to make pumpkin puree from scratch is easy.
This basic process is relatively hands-off and results in a yummy puree to begin many sweet and savory dishes alike.
You’ll need a high-rimmed baking sheet, a sharp knife, a bowl, and a big spoon.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and proceed:
Step 1: Cut the Pumpkin in Half
Use a very good knife. Something heavy and sharp is required to get through the cured skin of winter squash. Simply insert the knife at the top near the stem. Slice downward. Move the knife around the squash until reach the other side of the stem.
Pull the halves apart. Remove the stem from the pumpkin.
Step 2: Remove the Seeds and Strings
Use a big spoon and scrape all the seeds and strings out. Save and wash the seeds to make roasted pumpkin seeds, if desired. It’s easiest to do this over a bowl.
Step 3: Bake the Pumpkin
Place the pumpkin cut-side down on the baking sheet. Place the squash into the preheated oven. Bake for 30 minutes to an hour. Time will vary based on the size of the pumpkin.
The pumpkin is cooked when the flesh is easily pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Step 4: Scoop the Flesh from the Skin
Again using a spoon, scoop the flesh from the skin. Lightly scrape the sides of the flesh to remove all the bits of cooked pumpkin. Spoon this into a bowl.
Step 5: Mash or Puree the Cooked Pumpkin
Turn the cooked pumpkin into puree by putting it into a blender or food processor and pulsing until smooth. Alternatively, mash well with a potato masher.
Storing the Puree
It will keep in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Freeze it for up to 6 months in containers or bags.
It is not safe to can pumpkin puree.
Using Pumpkin Puree
Use your homemade pumpkin puree in any recipe as you would canned. It works for pie, cookies, cakes, soups, and more.
Try using it in one of these pumpkin spice recipes. You can even dehydrate it for pumpkin pie leather!
It is as easy that to make pumpkin puree from scratch. So get out there and take advantage of the Autumn seasonal abundance.
Thomas McCarthy McCarthy
Tuesday 20th of October 2020
Once the pumpkin is removed from the skin it is a good idea to put it into a sieve and let it drain before processing it. Any winter squash may be watery and allowing the excess water to drain from the flesh will make your pumpkin more like the puree you get from the can.
Wednesday 21st of October 2020
Thanks for the tip.
Sunday 14th of October 2018
I use one of those Jack-o-lantern knives with the orange handles found in the Halloween decoration department. It works well for cutting any winter squash!
Tuesday 4th of December 2018
Great idea! Thanks for the tip.
Friday 3rd of November 2017
I bake my pumpkins whole as the pie pumpkins I have gotten lately are very hard to cut. Once they cool a bit I take out the seeds etc and go from there. I still roast the seeds.
Friday 23rd of October 2020
I had wondered if I could bake without removing the seeds.
B . Scott
Monday 18th of November 2019
That’s exactly what I do.. bake whole and roast the seeds