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

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

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:

Pumpkin quarters in the double boiler steamer ready to be cooked down
Pumpkin quarters in the double boiler steamer ready to be cooked down
  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.

Place the pumpkin into the food processor, blender or use an emersion blender to puree

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




 

 

How to Use Real Pumpkins Instead of Canned Pumpkin
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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. 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.
  2. Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms
Old World Garden Farms http://oldworldgardenfarms.com/

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

  • October 4, 2016 at 6:52 am
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    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.

  • October 23, 2015 at 6:52 pm
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    Another way to cook pumpkin is in the microwave. Peel, cut up into 1 inch chunks. place in glass bowl or glass measuring cup. Microwave on high for 6 min. Stir, microwave 6 min again. Usually only takes 2 maybe 3 times depending on how much pumpkin. Then puree.

  • October 10, 2015 at 6:11 pm
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    No idea it was so easy……

    I have several pie pumpkins from my yard – will puree them this year. No more canned pumpkin. Yea!

  • October 7, 2015 at 4:52 pm
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    I can only eat pumpkin pie made from fresh pumpkin puree there is something they put in the cans of pumpkins that give me violent heartburn and vomiting. I discovered I could eat fresh pumpkin puree without it bothering me when a friend brought fresh pumpkin prepared like southern sweet potatoes, with brown sugar, butter, marshmellows, pecans and a little pumpkin pie spice. I ask what kind of pumpkin she had used and she said just your typical orange fleshed winter squash, not pumpkin, is what she had used. I said it tastes a lot like pumpkin to me and I’m allergic to pumpkin, she retorted you only think your allergic to pumpkin. in this case she was right it was an additive in the canned pumpkin that caused my allergic reaction but had I been allergic to pumpkin itself she could have made me very,very ill or even killed me. So please don’t try this stupid stunt at home. I have a fair sized bunch of friends that live like I do on the farm with all kinds of animals and grow our own veggies, fruits, meat. etc. we have frequent pot
    lucks I do not ever eat anything this women brings I know it turned out to be something other than pumpkin but no one gets to make that choice for me not when it comes to my health and life. I will never trust anyone with that attitude, she’s offended I won’t sample her dish but I don’t trust her.

  • October 7, 2015 at 1:40 pm
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    Just this year I figured out how to use the liquid from cooking my pumpkin to make pumpkin spice syrup to flavor lattes and other yummy things. I boil/steam chunks of pumpkin then pour into a colander over a bowl to drain thoroughly. Then measure all that pumpkin flavored liquid and add equal amount of sugar and pie spice to taste. Makes a great flavoring without chemicals or artificial flavoring. And it makes a great Latte.

  • October 7, 2015 at 1:01 pm
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    Last year, I did this for the very first time, and let me tell you, pumpkin that’s not canned is OUTTA THIS WORLD! I made little pumpkin pies with it and it was absolutely delicious. Even those who weren’t fond of pumpkin pie came back for seconds.

  • October 7, 2015 at 9:44 am
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    Great! But I pureed six pumpkins last week. How do I turn that puree into pie? The crust isn’t the issue, but pumpkin pie is more than crust and puree. Help!!

    • October 8, 2015 at 10:07 am
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      the recipe I use calls for 2C pumpkin (mashed), 2 eggs – beaten, 1 can condensed milk (NOT sweetened, condensed), 1 C sugar, 1-1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice & 1 tsp cinnamon. Blend all ingredients and pour into your pie crust. Bake 15 minutes at 400° (preheated), then reduce heat to 350° and bake another 45 minutes (or until a butter knife inserted in the center comes out clean). Right after I take my pie out of the oven, I sprinkle it with a cinnamon-sugar blend.

      I’ve also baked this recipe without the crust and served it as a side dish :). If you have a favorite recipe, I think you can probably replace canned pumpkin in your pie recipe with the fresh puree, one for one. I hope this helps.

  • October 7, 2015 at 9:31 am
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    Question: Under the directions for “Boil” the pumpkin, step #3 directions say to
    “Bring a large pot of lightly water to a boil.” My question is lightly what? My guess would be lightly salted water, but am just guessing. Thank you, the recipes sound great.

  • October 7, 2015 at 9:01 am
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    I just discovered a fourth day – the crockpot. Just put the pumpkin in the crockpot and cook on high four hours. Very easy and turns out great!

  • October 7, 2015 at 8:26 am
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    Handy info as I can’t get canned pumpkin here in Australia and I really like pumpkin pie.

  • October 7, 2015 at 7:59 am
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    Reblogged this on sliceofheaveninsweden and commented:
    I am so glad to find this great recipe because it is rare that I can find Canned pumpkin pie filling. Now I can make it myself. I just saw they were selling pumkin for 19 kr a kilo in town.
    Honey

  • October 7, 2015 at 7:56 am
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    I JUST READ YOUR ARTICLE ON PUMPKIN AND GOOD ADVICE FOR PEOPLE. I DONE FOUR PUMPKINS OVER THE WEEKEND AND BAKED TWO PIES. THE PUMPKIN IS BETTER FRESH THEN IN A CAN. YOU GIVE ADVISE TO PEOPLE ON GARDENING. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. .

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