If you love pumpkin recipes, a very valuable thing to learn is how to make homemade pumpkin puree. Each fall, I make a big batch of of it and I keep this stash to make all of my old favourite pumpkin recipes and some of the new ones I see pop up on Pinterest. As soon as I see those little sugar pumpkins (also called pie pumpkins) show up in the stores, it’s homemade pumpkin puree time.
After I make my puree, I feel like Bubba from Forrest Gump. Remember that scene where Bubba lists off all the dishes that can be made from shrimp. Have a look:
That’s me, except with pumpkin, listing off all the things I can now make with my fresh batch of homemade pumpkin puree 🙂 There are SO many things you can make…from savoury dishes, to delicious desserts—the possibilities are endless.
Typically, you should be able to find sugar pumpkins starting in September. Where I live in Canada, I’m only able to find them during the fall but perhaps they may be a bit easier for you to find at other times of the year where you live.
And before I forget, as in most cases, homemade pumpkin puree tastes so much better and fresher than the canned stuff. When you see how easy it is to do, you’ll never look back.
- You MUST use sugar/pie pumpkins to make puree for recipes and not use carving pumpkins (the larger kind used to carve a jack o’ lanterns). I haven’t tried it myself, but I’ve read in multiple places that carving pumpkins produce bland, stringy puree. Not good.
- After scooping out the insides, save them so you can roast the seeds. Click here to learn how to roast pumpkin seeds.
- As you can see in my pictures, the colour of the puree will be paler than the canned stuff which tends to be more on the dark orange side. This is because the pumpkins used for cans is a different sugar pumpkin variety (usually Dickinson pumpkins).
- Your puree will be a little runnier than the canned stuff which is more “packed,” this will not affect your recipes but if you prefer for yours to be less runny, line a colander with a cheesecloth and put your finished puree in. Place the colander over a large bowl and let it sit for a while so the extra moisture drains out.
Here’s how to make your own homemade pumpkin puree:
Snap off the stems and cut each pumpkin in half. Be careful when doing these steps! Slice off the top or bottom to create a flat and more stable surface to cut the pumpkins. I always do two pumpkins at a time because of the size of my baking sheet. Feel free to do more if you have the space.
Scoop out the insides with a spoon or ice cream scoop and save the seeds for roasting!
Place the halves on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake at 350°F for 1 hour or until a fork slides through easily. Be sure that your sheet has raised edges because the pumpkins release a lot of moisture while baking. When you take them out of the oven, the skin will be wrinkled, that’s a sign that they are ready.
Let them sit for a while to cool off. When cool, flip over and scoop out the insides.
Place the insides into a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth.
Depending on the size of your pumpkins and how many you bake, the amount of pumpkin puree you end up with will vary. My two pumpkins gave me 5 1/4 cups.
If you will be using up your puree quickly, keep it in the fridge, it will last about a week and half. If you want to store in the freezer, separate your puree into 1 cup portions and freeze. It will keep for 6-8 months so you can enjoy pumpkin desserts for months to come!
Now that you know how to make homemade pumpkin puree and you have a fresh batch waiting to be used, you’re going to need recipes to make! Here’s a roundup of 210 pumpkin recipes and here are some of my recipes that contain pumpkin puree for you to try:
- Pumpkin Spice Muffins
- Pumpkin Spice Mini Muffins
- Pumpkin Spice Waffles
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
- Pumpkin Pie
- Gingerbread Waffles
- Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Muffins
How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Puree
- 2 sugar/pie pumpkins
- Snap or cut off the stems and cut each pumpkin in half. Be careful when doing these steps! To make it a little safer, slice off the top or bottom of each pumpkin to create a flat and more stable surface to cut the pumpkins).
- Scoop out the insides with a spoon or ice cream scoop and save the seeds for roasting.
- Place the halves on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake at 350º for about an hour or until a fork slides through easily.
- Remove from the oven and let them sit to cool. When they have cooled off, flip them over and scoop out the insides with a spoon.
- Place the insides into a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth.
- Refrigerate your puree or separate it into 1 cup portions, place into freezer safe containers and freeze.
• Be sure that your cookie sheet has raised edges because the pumpkins release a lot of moisture while baking.
• Depending on the size of your pumpkins and how many you bake, the amount of pumpkin puree you end up with will vary. In my case, I ended up with 5 1/4 cups.
• Homemade pumpkin puree will keep in the refrigerator for about a week and a half.
• Homemade pumpkin puree will keep in the freezer for 6-8 months so you can enjoy pumpkin desserts for months to come!