Who knew it was so easy to make real pumpkin puree? This time of year we get a lot of questions about how to convert a pie pumpkin into the familiar puree found in store-bought canned pumpkin.

We first have to clarify what a pie pumpkin is.  Pie pumpkins are any one of several varieties of pumpkins – all of which are small and dense as compared to the larger ones, typically used for carving.  The most common type of pie pumpkin used for baking is the delicious and flavorful sugar pie pumpkin.  When substituting pie pumpkin during baking, it is recommended that you stick with the smaller, sweeter varieties.  The larger varieties contain much more water and are contain little flavor and produce a much smaller yield for its size.

One of our pie pumpkins from the garden. Soon to be Pumpkin Pumpkin Puree!
One of our pie pumpkins from the garden. Soon to be Real Pumpkin Puree!

After cooking and draining, this is about what to expect from a typical pumpkin. 

2 1/2- lb pie pumpkin =1-3/4 cups puree

3 1/2-lb pie pumpkin =2-1/2 cups puree

6-lb. carving pumpkin =2-3/4 cups puree

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 real pumpkin puree from your pumpkins and not from a can.   A typical can is 15 ounces – which indicates the weight of the can (not the volume inside). So to convert recipes from canned to fresh pumpkin puree a 15 ounce can equals 1 3/4 cup of puree.  Of course, this is only in the United States where food is measured in ounces and cups.  No wonder why we all get confused!

Three Ways to Make Your Own Real Pumpkin Puree

 

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…….

 

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

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.

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




 

 

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How to Use Real Pumpkins Instead of Canned Pumpkin

Ingredients

  • 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.

Recipe Notes

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.
Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms

One thought on “How to Use A Real Pumpkin Instead of Canned Pumpkin – Easy as Pie!

  • October 4, 2016 at 6:52 am
    Permalink

    Love to make my own pumpkin purée . I use a blue Hubert squash that was recommended to me by an Amish farmer. Haven’t used a pumpkin again. They are fairly large a little ackward to handle but well worth it bright orange flesh great tasting.

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