Easy Homemade Pumpkin Puree
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Don’t be intimidated by making your own pumpkin puree. It’s fun and you’ll feel incredibly domestic and happy every time you open the freezer and see the fruit of your
labor fun. It keeps really well in the freezer (I’ve used it up to a year later; let’s keep that our little secret). Sugar pumpkins are best for pumpkin puree because they are, well, sweeter (what’s in a name?), although you may use the smaller regular pumpkins. Ideally, your pumpkin should be 7-9 inches wide. I was pushing the envelope with these; a whopping 10 inches, but they were still perfect. P.S. This recipe calls for 1 pumpkin which produces 10-13 cups of puree (plenty for most normal people, I just happened to pluck 5 pumpkins from my Mama’s yard and will probably need a deep freezer after this). Save the seeds and roast them!
You’ll know a sugar pumpkin when you see one up close. It has freckles. Can you spot the sugar pumpkin.
Here’s a closer look:
Pumpkins are gorgeous aren’t they? And so sturdy! It feels like they are taking over our house this week. We don’t celebrate Halloween, but I love Fall and Harvest and Thanksgiving. Pumpkin puree is an awesome ingredient to work with!
How To Make Homemade Pumpkin Puree:
Preheat your oven to 350°F
1. Using a sharp knife, remove the top of the pumpkin and cut it in half. With a large spoon, scrape out the seeds and the pulp. (P.S. keep the seeds and toast them!). Of course my son was eager to help me scrape out the pumpkin guts.
2. Cut each half in 4 chunks and place them skin-side-down on baking sheets. Bake at 350°F for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until you can pierce them smoothly with a fork.
3. Remove baked pumpkin from the oven and let them cool until they are a safe temperature to handle. With a small knife, remove and discard the skin. Cut each chunk into 1 inch pieces. Using a food processor, puree the baked pumpkin in batches until apple sauce consistency.
4. Processed pumpkin puree can be used right away or can be frozen for future pumpkin cravings. To keep the bag clean, fold out the zipper border and fill with 1 cup of puree. Flatten the bags to push out excess air and seal.
One 10-inch pumpkin made 13 cups of puree.
Thank you Mr. Pumpkin. Oh dear, no one was supposed to see this.
Easy Homemade Pumpkin Puree
- 2 small pie pumpkins, or one larger sugar pumpkin 8-10 inches*
To Make the Pumpkin Puree
- Preheat your oven to 350°F Wash, dry and trim off the stem of the pumpkin. Stand the pumpkin on the flat side and cut it in half, or cut a larger pumpkin into quarters. Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds and pulp. Keep the seeds to make Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.
- Place pumpkin halves on a baking sheet cut-side down and Bake at 350F in the center of your oven for 50 min to 1 hour, or until easily pierced with a knife without resistance.
- Peel the skin off all the chunks and cut the pumpkin into 1-inch pieces. Process in batches in a food processor until smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed for even blending. You should end up with a smooth applesauce consistency.
To Thicken Pumpkin Puree:
- For a thicker puree needed for pumpkin pie or most recipes that call for canned pumpkin puree, set a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and line with a double layer of cheesecloth. Put the puree into the cheesecloth, wrap and gently squeeze to help release excess liquid. For a consistency similar to canned puree, I was able to strain off almost 1 cup of liquid from 2 small pie pumpkins.
Storing Pumpkin Puree:
- Use it immediately, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week. To freeze, place 1 cup of puree into a freezer-safe zip bag, push out all the air, seal ,and freeze for up to 3 months or longer in a deep freezer.