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How to Make Pureed Pumpkin from Fresh Pumpkins

Updated on September 17, 2012

Many pumpkin recipes call for "canned pumpkin puree" which can be replaced by making your own puree from fresh pumpkins. Grocery stores, produce markets, farmer's markets, and local growers will have hundreds of pumpkins to choose from, so with a good supply, you can make your own puree that is fresh and delicious.

How to Make Pumpkin Puree

Select a firm, bright orange pumpkin. Avoid those with rot spots or deep cuts. A good size is about 10-12 lbs. You need to be able to lift the pumpkin and be able to slice it, so keep the dimensions in mind when making your selection. Thoroughly wash and dry your pumpkin. Using a sharp knife, slice the pumpkin in half, then cut into quarters. If your pumpkin is really big, you can cut it down into eighths too. Scoop off all of the loose membranes and the seeds. You can roast the seeds and save for snack mixes or other recipes.

Line a baking sheet or roasting pan with foil. Place the pumpkin slices with the rind up. Place in the oven (pre-heated to 400 degrees) and roast for about 20 minutes. Check the sices, if they are very soft, they are ready to come out. If they're still a little firm, continue to bake in 5 minute increments, checking after each addition.

Remove the pumpkin slices from the oven and allow to cool to a point where you can safely handle them. Scoop out of the soft flesh using a spoon; place the scoops of pumpin into a large mixing bowl. After you have scooped out all of the pumpkin, you can mash the pumpkin by hand, use an electric stand mixer, or use a food processor to get it to the consistency you want,.

After you have pureed the pumpkinm, you need to push the pumpkin into a sieve or use paper towels or coffee filters over a separate bowl to push as much liquid out as possible. Stirring and pushing the pumpkin into the sieve/filter will create the dense puree while pushing the water out into the bowl below.

Storing Your Puree

Your fresh puree will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, but it can be frozen for up to 6 months. You can stock up on pumpkins at a good price in the fall and store your puree to enjoy for later use. For space saving, you could pour your puree into freezer bags so they can be stacked and lie flat. Label with the date so you know how long it will be good.

Measuring

Some recipes will call for pumpkin in ounces (i.e. 15 oz can of pumpkin) or in cups. You can use a digital food scale to accurately weigh out the pumpkin in ounces or use measuring cups for recipes that list the ingredients in cups.

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    • Pauline Davenport profile image

      Pauline Davenport 

      5 years ago from Isle of Man

      I like this very much as I always like to cook from scratch and to be honest I have never known how to handle a pumpkin before. I would never have thought to squeeze out the water before using out the water before using after the roasting. I'll certainly be using this at the end of October when the Halloween pumkin has been duly carved out - just waht I like - no waste!! Thanks mlowell

    • Imogen French profile image

      Imogen French 

      5 years ago from Southwest England

      great, clear instructions, thanks.

      Now I can make good use of my homegrown pumpkins this year - I'm looking forward to making your pumpkin cheesecake recipe :)

    • mvillecat profile image

      Catherine Dean 

      5 years ago from Milledgeville, Georgia

      This is just what I needed! I want to attempt to put up some pumpkin this year and to make soup with it. Thanks! I voted up, pinned, and tweeted.

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