Make your own Homemade Pumpkin Puree to use for all of your fall baking projects. The flavor of fresh pumpkin is superior, and it can be used as an ingredient for pies, breads, cakes and more.
Homemade Pumpkin Puree
This year seems to be the year of firsts for so many things. When developing recipes, I tend to gather seasonal ingredients earlier than most, and found early on that pumpkin wasn't as easy to come by this year. I reverted back to my initial technique of skipping the can, and making my own. I hope you find this technique helpful, if you run into the same issue.
How Does Fresh Pumpkin Vary from Canned Pumpkin?
- The most obvious difference is color. Fresh pumpkin leans more toward yellow tones than the dark orange canned pumpkin you're most accustomed to. If that bothers you, you could add food coloring when using it in baked goods but, it's not necessary.
- For the best result, use a pie or baking pumpkin, usually found at grocery stores and farmers markets. They're smaller than carving pumpkins. If the pumpkin is huge, leave those for carving jack-o-lanterns.
- The texture is noticeably different. When pureed, it's creamy and tastes slightly sweeter than canned pumpkin.
- Canned pumpkin usually consists of steamed, pureed pumpkin, that's sometimes blended with other types of squash, depending on the maker.
- The flavor is superior. The true pumpkin flavor really shines through, and it's surprisingly mild.
- You can use it in the same amounts as you would canned pumpkin.
- Fresh Pureed pumpkin will keep for up to one week in the fridge and up to 3 months frozen.
- I recommend that you store in 1 cup portions when freezing, to prevent waste.
Recipes to Make with Homemade Pumpkin Puree
As mentioned above, you can use homemade puree in any recipe in the same amount as you would canned pumpkin.
- Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Pound Cake
- Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Filling
- Pumpkin Cream Pie with Bourbon Whipped Cream
- Streusel topped Pumpkin Muffins from Celebrating Sweets
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Homemade Pumpkin Puree
- 1 (3-6 lb) baking pumpkin See Cook's note
- kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Use a sharp knife to remove stem from pumpkin. Slice a thin piece from one side of pumpkin to level and prevent it from rolling.
- Cut the pumpkin into 2 equal halves.
- Use a large spoon to remove the stringy pulp and seeds from each half.
- Lightly season with salt then place cut side down on baking sheet.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a paring knife easily slides through the flesh, Test several different areas of the pumpkin. (A smaller pumpkin may need slightly less time)
- Cool on the pan on a cooling rack for 1 hour. The skin will begin pulling away from the pumpkin as it cools.
- Remove pumpkin from skin. Puree in batches in a food processor until smooth. Cool completely.
- Store chilled in an airtight container for up to one week or frozen for up to 3 months.
- Stir well before using.