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Homemade Pumpkin Purée

Homemade Pumpkin Purée

We're getting close to the holidays, and pumpkin pies often are the most requested dessert at any table.

Many pumpkin recipes call for pumpkin purée - pumpkin pies, breads, pancakes, and cookies, to name a few. It's easy to run to the store to get canned pumpkin, and it will certainly result in a tasty, consistent result. However, homemade pumpkin purée is super easy to make and has a deeper, more interesting flavor. 

It's important to make sure you buy a baking pumpkin, sometimes called a sugar pumpkin, pie pumpkin, or Sugar Pie pumpkin. Carving pumpkins won't give you the same flavor. Sugar Pie pumpkins have a sweeter flavor and more flesh inside than a carving pumpkin. You'll notice they may feel heavy for their size (they typically are about 2-4lbs). 

How to make pumpkin purée:

Ingredients: 

  • 1 sugar pie baking pumpkin
  • Dash of salt (optional)

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet that has raised edges with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Rinse and dry your pumpkin. Then cut pumpkin in half, starting at the stem and working your way down each side to the bottom. Don't attempt to cut through the stem; it will be too thick. Instead, after you've cut through the pumpkin, take both sides and pull apart. The stem should naturally separate, but if it sticks to one side, a few cuts to the sides of the stem will loosen it enough to pull apart. Remove seeds and fibers.
  3. Sprinkle each half of the pumpkin with salt, then place on baking sheet cut side down. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until skin is easily pierced by a knife and the skin naturally begins to separate from the flesh.
  4. Let pumpkin cool until it can be handled. Then, remove skin and place the pumpkin flesh in a food processor. Process for 3-5 minutes or until very smooth.
  5. At this point, it's ready to use in your favorite baking recipes! If you had an especially juicy pumpkin, you can thicken the purée in a pot over medium heat on the stove.

Purée can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, or frozen for up to 3 months.