Instead of grabbing a can of pumpkin puree off the grocery store shelf this year, make your own!

This time of year we often get emails asking how to turn pumpkins into pumpkin puree. Everyone seems to be in the mood to make pumpkin cookies, pumpkin rolls, and of course pumpkin pie.

homemade pumpkin puree
Making homemade pumpkin puree is easy to do and it stores well in the freezer.

Although we have several different methods to choose from, we first must talk about the pumpkins themselves.

Even though you can use any pumpkin to make puree, the results will vary on what type of pumpkin that you choose to use.

Standard decorating pumpkins can be made into puree. 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. In fact, they are sometimes labeled as sugar pumpkins.

pie pumpkins
We prefer to use sugar, or pie pumpkins to make pumpkin puree.

Therefore we prefer to make pumpkin puree from the pie pumpkins.

There are several ways to puree your pumpkin. Below you will find 4 different ways to make homemade pumpkin puree.

Four Ways to Make Pumpkin Puree

No matter what cooking method that you choose to make pumpkin puree, be sure to clean the outside of your pumpkin. You will be cutting through your pumpkin and you want to prevent any dirt from touching the inside flesh.

Simply clean the pumpkin under cool water and dry well with a clean towel.

Next, cut the pumpkin in half. Remove the seeds and stringy fibers with a metal spoon or ice cream scoop. Save the seeds for roasting and discard the innards.

Bake:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut your pumpkin into 4 quarters. Place each quarter cut side down, on a parchment lined baking sheet/jelly roll pan.

baked pumpkin puree
Baking pumpkins to make pumpkin puree.

Bake 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.

Steam:

Use a double boiler and fill the bottom pot with just enough water that it does not touch the top pot.

Next, cut the pumpkin halves into evenly sized smaller pieces to fit inside the top strainer.

Cover and let steam for about 20 minutes or until the flesh is tender when pierced with a knife.

Boil:

boiling method
Boil pumpkin pieces until the flesh is fork tender.

Bring a large pot of water to a light boil. Then cut each half of your pumpkin into evenly-sized smaller pieces.

Place the pumpkin in the boiling water and continue to lightly boil for about 20 minutes or until the flesh is tender when pierced with a knife.

Instant Pot/Electric Pressure Cooker:

Cut the pumpkin into 4 quarters. Add 1 cup water to the liner of the Instant Pot and set the trivet in the water.

Next, place the pumpkin pieces on the trivet. Close the lid and place the valve in the sealed position.

instant pot method
Our favorite method for making pumpkin puree is in our Instant Pot.

Pressure cook/manual on High for 30 minutes. Once the cooking time expires quick release the pressure.

For any method, follow the below instructions make pumpkin puree:

When the pumpkin pieces are fork tender, remove them and place on a flat surface to cool.

Once cool enough to handle, but not cold, peel the skin off and scoop out the pumpkin flesh.

Puree the pumpkin in a food processor, in a food mill, or with a hand held blender until smooth.

Because fresh pumpkin holds a lot of moisture, you will need to strain the puree before using or storing.

straining pumpkin puree
Homemade pumpkin puree will need to be strained to release excess liquid before using.

Simply line a sieve or fine mesh colander with cheese cloth or a coffee filter and set it over a deep bowl. Allow it to drain for about 2 hours and stir occasionally to release any hidden moisture.

Store in the fridge for up to a week. Or you can freeze the pumpkin puree in an air tight container or a freezer bag for up to one year.

Just as a note, canning pumpkin is not recommended by the USDA. Freezing is the preferred method for long term storage.

Enjoy!

Mary and Jim

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How to Make Pumpkin Puree

Making your own Pumpkin Puree is simple and easy to do. Use fresh pie pumpkins and bake, boil, steam or use a pressure cooker to make pumpkin puree that you can use immediately or freeze for later use.

Ingredients

  • 1 pie pumpkin

Instructions

  1. Wash the outside of the pumpkin.
  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.

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.
  3. Bake in the oven until the flesh is tender when pierced with a knife, approximately 50-60 minutes

Boil:

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly water to a boil.
  2. Cut the pumpkin into evenly-sized smaller pieces.
  3. Add the pumpkin pieces to the boiling water and keep at a light boil for approximately 20 minutes or until the flesh is tender when pierced with a knife.

Steam:

  1. Use a double boiler and fill the bottom pot with water right below the steaming basket.
  2. Cut the pumpkin into evenly sized small pieces to fit inside the steaming basket.
  3. Cover and let steam for about 20 minutes or until the flesh is tender when pierced with a knife.

Instant Pot:

  1. Wash the outside of the pumpkin.
  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. Cut the pumpkin into 4 quarters.
  4. Add 1 cup water to the liner of the Instant Pot. Set trivet in water.
  5. Place pumpkin pieces on the trivet. Close lid and place valve in the sealed position.
  6. Pressure cook/manual on High for 30 minutes.
  7. Quick release the pressure when the cooking time expires.
  8. Remove trivet with the pumpkin pieces and drain water from the liner.

Puree the pumpkin

  1. Remove the pumpkin pieces and place on a flat surface to cool.
  2. Once cool enough to handle peel the skin layer off and/or scoop out the pumpkin flesh.
  3. Place the pumpkin in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth.
  4. Line a fine mesh colander with cheese cloth and set over a deep bowl. Add the pumpkin puree and let drain for about 2 hours and stir occasionally to release excess moisture.

Recipe Notes

Let cool and store in refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for later use.
Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms

How To Make Pumpkin Puree – 4 Different Methods Included
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