The easiest foolproof method to making the smoothest pumpkin puree using just a small sugar pumpkin and a bit of salt!
Stocking up on this simple roasted pumpkin puree will come in handy this fall season because it’s so versatile and used in so many recipes, both classic and creative! Pumpkin cheesecake dip, pumpkin crumb muffins and pumpkin pancakes are just a few of my favorites!
With the current canned pumpkin shortage, I wanted to share how easy it is to make homemade pumpkin puree yourself. There is something so fresh and flavorful when making it from scratch. Having access to this puree in a pinch will come in handy for cookies, cakes and donuts. Make a quick pumpkin bread for the morning or a pumpkin pie for dessert. This time of year is all about the pumpkin recipes! Make a big batch, and freeze some for later. Trust me, you’ll never run out of reasons to need it!
How to make pumpkin puree
- Prep. Preheat the oven and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Set it aside.
- Cut. Cut the top off of a small sugar pumpkin. A serrated knife works well for this. Cut in half and remove all seeds and fibers (those pesky strings!). Use a spoon to scrape it down and scissors to cut them off if necessary.
- Rinse. Rinse off the pumpkin, getting any of the remaining bits and seeds off the walls. Pat dry, then cut into 6 pieces.
- Roast. Place pieces onto the pan with the skin side facing up. Sprinkle with optional salt and bake until fork tender. Let cool.
- Puree. Using a food processor or blender, puree until smooth.
- The right pumpkin. Making pumpkin puree is as difficult as picking out the right pumpkin. You want to use sugar pumpkins, sometimes called pie pumpkins, because they are much sweeter than their larger jack-o-lantern type cousin. This recipe really only has one star of the show, so you don’t want to cut corners!
- Save the seeds. When cleaning out your pumpkin, save those seeds! Rinse off and let dry. Make roasted pumpkin seeds later with a bit of oil and salt and you’ve got a highly nutritious (and slightly addicting) snack.
- Consistency. If it’s too dry, add a Tablespoon of water. If it’s too watery, squeeze out the excess water in a cheesecloth.
- Portions. Because this puree is so full of nutrients, is full of flavor and has its own natural sweetness, it makes a great baby food! Store in little mason jars or freeze in ice cube trays for little portions.
- Sweet or savory. It doesn’t have the added spices, sugars or other flavors in its original state, so it works well not only for baking sweets but can also be used for savory dishes. Think pumpkin chili or ravioli!
- You CAN do this. In some recipes, you may find that the canned version is sturdier and holds the consistency a little better and that’s fine. Both canned and fresh puree has a place in our hearts!
Storing & freezing
Pumpkin puree will keep in the fridge in an airtight container or jar for up to a week. If you are making batches at a time, freeze some by putting it into a Ziploc bag once cooled. Place in the freezer for up to 3 months. Then when ready to use, run under warm water.
More recipes to use it in:
- Soft pumpkin cookies w/ caramel
- Pumpkin banana bread
- Best pumpkin bars w/ cream cheese frosting
- Pumpkin cream cheese roll
- Pumpkin streusel coffee cake
How to Make Pumpkin Puree
- 1 sugar pumpkin (around 5 pounds)
- Fine sea salt (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and set aside.
- Cut the top off the pumpkin and then in half. Remove all seeds and fibers. Remove fibers with scissors if needed. Rinse and pat dry. Then slice into 6 pieces.
- Place the pumpkin onto the pan with skin facing up. Sprinkle with salt if desired. Then bake for 30-45 minutes, or until fork tender.
- Let the pumpkin cool for 1 hour. Then remove skin and scoop the flesh into a food processor.
- Process the pumpkin for 3-5 minutes, or until the puree is very smooth.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months in a zip top bag.