Can’t get canned pumpkin puree where you live or are looking for an easy DIY kitchen project? This homemade pumpkin puree is simple and perfect to use for baking!
Once the fall weather hits, I love to bake with pumpkin; it’s perfect paired with some of my favorite fall flavors like maple, ginger, cinnamon and a plethora of other spices. When I want to bake, I simply buy cans of pumpkin puree at the grocery store, but I know that many of you who live in other areas of the world don’t have access to canned pumpkin. I often get questions about how to go about making homemade pumpkin puree, so today I’m going to show you how to do it! (Spoiler alert: it’s easy!)
We start with what is referred to as a pie pumpkin or a sugar pumpkin – this is a relatively small pumpkin in comparison to the large carving pumpkins you might be used to seeing. A sugar pumpkin is about 8 to 10 inches in diameter and a much deeper shade of orange. You should be able to find these in your local grocery store (or orchard).
You will need to use a heavy, sharp knife and slice the pumpkin half. Full disclosure – I had my husband do this because I was terrified of slicing myself. I’m not very tall, so I can’t put a lot of downward pressure on the knife, and I’m not terribly strong either. Be careful when doing this! The sharper your knife, the better.
Next – the easy part! Place the pumpkin cut-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast until the flesh is tender, then turn them over and continue roasting.
Once the pumpkin halves are cool enough to handle, the pumpkin is pureed in a food processor (I think you could also use a blender) and then placed in a fine-mesh strainer to drain.
Once drained, you’ll need to test the consistency to make sure that it has the correct amount of moisture (there are details below in the recipe).
I got about 10 ounces of puree out of my pumpkin, which is just a little more than one cup. Of course yield will depend on the size of your pumpkin and how much flesh there is inside.
This pumpkin puree can be used interchangeably for any recipe that calls for canned pumpkin. Just grab a small sugar pumpkin and you’re in business! Since this can be easily frozen, you can make a huge batch once at the start of the season and keep it in the freezer until you’re ready to bake.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the pumpkin halves on the baking sheet, cut side down. Roast until a skewer can easily pierce the flesh, 45 to 60 minutes. Turn the pumpkin halves over and roast for an additional 30 minutes.
Once cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh from the pumpkin skins and place in the bowl of a food processor. Puree until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, about 1 minute.
Place the pumpkin puree in a fine mesh sieve set over a medium bowl and allow to drain for at least 1 hour. To test the consistency, pack the puree into a small drinking glass and unmold it onto a plate. It should slump slightly but hold its shape. If it is too loose, return to the strainer and allow it to continue draining; if it is too firm, whisk in a little bit of the drained liquid.
Once the correct consistency has been achieved, you can store the pumpkin puree in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days, or freeze (with parchment paper pressed against the surface of the puree) for up to two months. You can substitute this puree in equal amounts for any recipe calling for canned pumpkin.
Nutritional values are based on one ounce of puree