For those who love pumpkin recipes, a very valuable thing to master this step of making homemade pumpkin puree. As soon as I see those little sugar pumpkins (also called pie pumpkins) show up in the market, it’s time to made some homemade pumpkin puree.
Fresh pumpkin isn’t to be feared, even if you have canned pumpkin. There are a few different ways to prepare from-scratch pumpkin puree at home. It’s great to make this recipe ahead and freeze so that you’ll have plenty on hand to add to seasonal sides or your go-to pumpkin pie.
Listing off all the things I can now make with my fresh batch of homemade pumpkin puree. There are so many things you can make…from savoury dishes to delicious desserts—the possibilities are endless. Typically, you should be able to find sugar pumpkins beginning in September. Where I live in Singapore, I’m only able to find them during the fall but perhaps they may be a bit easier for you to find at other times of the year where you live.
Before I forget, as in most cases, homemade pumpkin puree tastes so much better and fresher than the canned stuff. When you see how easy it is to do, you’ll never look back. You can use the pumpkin puree in any recipe that calls for canned puree. As a general rule, 3 pounds of fresh pumpkin will yield about 3 cups of mashed and cooked pumpkin.
Some of the tips when making pumpkin puree:
- Use only sugar/pie pumpkins to make puree for recipes and not use carving pumpkins (the larger kind used to carve a jack o’ lanterns). Although, I haven’t tried it myself, but I’ve read in multiple articles that carving pumpkins produce bland, stringy puree. It doesn’t taste good.
- From our photographs, the colour of the puree will be paler than the canned ones which tend to be darker in tone. This is because the pumpkins used for cans is a different sugar pumpkin variety.
- The puree will be a little runnier than the canned ones which are more “packed,” this will not affect your recipes but if you prefer yours to be less runny, line a colander with a cheesecloth and put your finished puree in. Place the colander over a large bowl and let it sit for a while so the extra moisture drains out.
For this recipes, you don’t require many ingredients as the only thing you need is the just pumpkin! Starts by preheating oven to 200C.
Cut the pumpkin in half. Using a metal spoon and/or your hands, scoop out the seeds and strings. (Do not throw away your pumpkin seeds, as you could check on our Roasted Pumpkin Seed recipes) Place pumpkins skin-side up on a baking sheet. Roast for 50-60 minutes or until flesh is soft and fragrant.
After removing from the oven, allow the pumpkins to cool until they can be safely handled.
Use a metal spoon to scoop out the flesh. Puree the flesh of one pumpkin at a time in a high-speed blender. Puree’ on low speed, then increase to high for about 20-30 seconds. Periodically, scrape the container down as the pumpkin really sticks to the side. Blend again for 30-40 seconds, stopping to scrape when needed, blend until smooth. Pumpkin can be pureed using a food processor as well.
I like to store my puree in freezer bags at 400g each. This is the same amount one would find in a can of pumpkin puree’. I’ve frozen my puree up to 4 months and have had good results.
An alternative freezing method that I’ve used is to freeze the puree’ in ice cube trays, pop the puree’ out when frozen and place in freezer bags. This is convenient when making smoothies or you need a smaller quantity of pumpkin.
For two sugar pie pumpkins, I yielded three freezer bags of 400g each.
Don’t you find that it is simple in making? Why not start making some delicious dishes with this easy making pumpkin puree. Following are the recipes you might want to try out with.