The pumpkin patches are full of activity this time of the year.  School field trips are scheduled, grandparents are eager to take the grandchildren to local farms, and pumpkins are the centerpiece of most fall decorations.

The last of our pie pumpkins from this year's crop. Soon to be Pumpkin Pie!
The last of our pie pumpkins from this year’s crop. Soon to be Pumpkin Pie!

We have finally picked the last two pumpkins in our little patch at the front entrance of the farm, although, we aren’t quite ready to use them yet.  You see, our plans for these two pie pumpkins are to use them to make pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. And since that is several weeks away, it is time to turn our pumpkins into puree and freeze it for later use.

We often get the question – can I use my decorative pumpkins to make pumpkin puree and the answer is simple – yes. However, the texture and taste will be different than if you use a pie pumpkin. The smaller pie pumpkins are generally sweeter in nature and have a slightly less water content.

There are several ways to puree your pumpkin, and every way is ‘right’.  Just pick a way that meets your cooking style and end up with the perfect pumpkin puree from your pumpkins and not from a can. Use fresh pumpkin as a direct substitute for canned pumpkin.

Find a couple of our favorite pumpkin recipes here:  The Great Pumpkin Roll Recipe; Homemade Pumpkin Cookies

 Three Ways to Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree

Scoop out the strings and seeds --save the seeds for roasting later.
Scoop out the strings and seeds –save the seeds for roasting later.

Instructions:

  1. Clean the pumpkin under cool water and dry well with a clean towel.
  2. Cut the pumpkin in half. Remove the seeds and stringy fibers with a metal spoon or ice cream scoop. Save the seeds for toasting and discard the innards.

**Now pick a way that you want to ‘cook’ your pumpkin…….

Roast pumpkin quarters face down for easy peeling of the rind
Roast pumpkin quarters face down for easy peeling of the rind

Bake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut your pumpkin into 4 quarters. Place each quarter cut side down, on a baking sheet/jelly roll pan.
  3. Bake in the oven until the flesh is tender when pierced with a knife. This takes approximately 45-60 minutes for a pie pumpkin. Larger pumpkins may take up to 90 minutes.
Boiling a small pie pumpkin
Boiling a small pie pumpkin

Boil:

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly water to a boil.
  2. Cut the pumpkin into evenly-sized smaller pieces.
  3. Add to the boiling water and keep at a light boil for about 20 minutes or until the flesh is tender when pierced with a knife.
Pumpkin quarters in the double boiler steamer ready to be cooked down
Pumpkin quarters in the double boiler steamer ready to be cooked down

Steam:

  1. Use a double boiler and fill bottom pot with enough water, but not enough to touch the strainer.
  2. Cut the pumpkin into evenly sized smaller pieces to fit inside the top strainer.
  3. Cover and let steam for about 20 minutes or until the flesh is tender when pierced with a knife.
Peel back the rind of the pumpkin after it cools.
Peel back the rind of the pumpkin after it cools.
Place the pumpkin into the food processor, blender or use an emersion blender to puree
Place the pumpkin into the food processor, blender or use an immersion  blender to puree
Freeze in air tight containers for easy use throughout the year.
Freeze in air tight containers for easy use throughout the year.

For any method, follow the below instructions to finalize your puree:

  1. When tender, remove pumpkin pieces and place on a flat surface to cool.
  2. Once cool enough to handle, but not cold, peel the skin layer and scoop out the pumpkin flesh.
  3. Puree the pumpkin in a food processor, in a food mill, with a hand held blender until smooth.
  4. Fresh pumpkin holds a lot of moisture. Before using or storing, line a sieve or fine mesh colander with cheese cloth or a coffee filter and set over a deep bowl. Let drain for about 2 hours and stir occasionally.

You can freeze the puree in an air tight container or a freezer bag, which will be good for up to one year. Canning pumpkin is not recommended by the USDA.

Enjoy!

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Mary and Jim

3 Ways To Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree
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Ingredients
  1. Pie Pumpkin
Instructions
  1. Clean the pumpkin under cool water and dry well with a clean towel.
  2. Cut the pumpkin in half. Remove the seeds and stringy fibers with a metal spoon or ice cream scoop. Save the seeds for toasting and discard the innards.
  3. **Now pick a way that you want to ‘cook’ your pumpkin…….
Bake
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut your pumpkin into 4 quarters. Place each quarter cut side down, on a baking sheet/jelly roll pan.
  3. Bake in the oven until the flesh is tender when pierced with a knife. This takes approximately 45-60 minutes for a pie pumpkin. Larger pumpkins may take up to 90 minutes.
Boil
  1. Bring a large pot of lightly water to a boil.
  2. Cut the pumpkin into evenly sized smaller pieces.
  3. Add to the boiling water and keep at a light boil for about 20 minutes or until the flesh is tender when pierced with a knife
Steam
  1. Use a double boiler and fill bottom pot with enough water, but not enough to touch the strainer.
  2. Cut the pumpkin into evenly sized smaller pieces to fit inside the top strainer.
  3. Cover and let steam for about 20 minutes or until the flesh is tender when pierced with a knife.
For any method, follow the below instructions to finalize your puree
  1. When tender, remove pumpkin pieces and place on a flat surface to cool.
  2. Once cool enough to handle, but not cold, peel the skin layer and scoop out the pumpkin flesh.
  3. Puree the pumpkin in a food processor, in a food mill, with a hand-held blender until smooth.
  4. Fresh pumpkin holds a lot of moisture. Before using or storing, line a sieve or fine mesh colander with cheese cloth or a coffee filter and set over a deep bowl. Let drain for about 2 hours and stir occasionally.
Notes
  1. Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms
Old World Garden Farms http://oldworldgardenfarms.com/

7 thoughts on “3 Ways to Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree – It’s Easier Than You Think!

  • October 19, 2014 at 11:58 am
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    My pumpkins didn’t make it this year-but we got a lot of butternut squash. So, I made them (oven style above) , cooled the puree, then froze in 11/2 cup dolops. The extra liquid will pool out if you let it set for a short time, and you can pour it into your sink. Then freeze. The recipe I found for pumpkin/sqaush pie calls for everything to go into the blender–11/2cup puree,1 cup milk, blend to make smooth; then 2 T melted butter, 1 t cinnamon, 1/4 t nutmeg, 1/4 t cloves, 1/2 t salt, 1/2 c sugar, 1/2 cup br sugar, 1 T flour, 2 eggs . Blend til smooth and well mixed. Pour into crust, and bake 375 until done-aboout 1 hour.

  • October 17, 2014 at 8:59 pm
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    I have made pumpkin puree before – it’ since to have in freezer. I especially like your hint to drain it first; my puree was watery. I’m going to try that this year!

  • October 17, 2014 at 2:14 pm
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    I cook pumpkin the same way I cook winter squash. Just put the pieces in a plastic bag with a hole poked in it to allow the steam to escape or put it in a large casserole with a lid & microwave until the flesh is tender. It keeps more of it’s pumpkin flavor & loses fewer nutrients because of the fast cooking time.

  • October 17, 2014 at 10:35 am
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    I use my large, counter top roaster, which functions somewhat like a cross between an oven and a crock pot. You’d be amazed how much I can fit in there! Uber easy to clean too!

    • October 17, 2014 at 9:19 am
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      For a 3 pound pie pumpkin, you can estimate about 3 cups of puree

  • October 17, 2014 at 7:59 am
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    What perfect timing, going to the Pumpkin Patch with the granddaughter, and had plans on getting a few pie pumpkins for puree…………there are so many good pumpkin recipes, it’s always great to have puree on hand. Thanks

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