With Thanksgiving only a few short days away, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to share with you all how to make homemade pumpkin puree! It sounds a lot more difficult and intimidating than it actually is – it’s really easy and so totally worth it!
I like to make my pumpkin puree with pie pumpkins or sugar pumpkins – they are the smaller sized pumpkins you find at the grocery store. In my opinion they make the best tasting pie – so snag a few if you store still has some!
The jack-o-lantern type will work too – but they aren’t as sweet and they taste a little more grainy. If you use the jack-o-lantern to make a pie you might have to add a little more sugar. When I have used them in the past, I made the puree into pumpkin butter – which is an excellent way to use up un-carved pumpkins after Halloween is over :)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
You’ll want to start by rinsing off your pumpkins. Even though we will not be using the peel, it’s a good idea to make sure they are clean.
Next you will cut about an inch off the top to remove the stem.
Cut the pumpkin in half and remove all the seeds and pulp from center – Save the seeds to roast them!
Once the inside has been scraped clean, cut each section in half, so that each pumpkin is cut into quarters.
Line a rimmed baking sheet or baking dish with foil and lay the pumpkin quarters cut side down. Pour about 1 inch of water into the baking sheet then cover with foil.
Bake for 60 to 90 minutes, or until pumpkin is very tender.
Let the pumpkin cool slightly, then remove the skin/peel. This can be done in a few ways: the pumpkin flesh can be scooped from the skin with a large spoon or ice cream scoop – or the skin can be peeled away from the flesh (I find this to be easiest/fastest).
Once all of the flesh has been removed from the skin, puree the pumpkin in the bowl of a food processor or blender until smooth.
To avoid watery pumpkin, place the puree in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl to remove excess liquid. Let the puree sit in the strainer for about an hour to ensure that most of the extra water has drained off.
And that’s it – you’ve got fresh pumpkin puree! The puree can be frozen so it can be used at a later time. I like to separate it into 1 cup increments so it cuts down on the measuring later :)
I got 3 cups of pumpkin puree from the two small and 1 medium pie pumpkins – more than enough to make a pumpkin pie or two!