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How to cook pumpkin puree for pies and baking using a real pumpkin

Updated on October 28, 2013



Pumpkin pie has been a tradition for generations. Pumpkin is part of the squash family and has long represented the end of the harvest year. Pumpkin and squash seeds have been dated back to between 7000 and 5500 BC. The pumpkin was and early export from France from there it was introduced to Tudor’s in England; The flesh or pompion was quickly recognized as a good pie filler. Pie recipes can be found in cookbooks dated back to the mid 1600’s. Recipes did not occur in American cook books until the early nineteenth century. The pilgrims brought pumpkin pie back to New England, where to this day can be found on plates across North America during the thanksgiving or harvest season.

Where to Begin?

To make your own pumpkin puree for pies and other pumpkin recipes you will need one small 3-4 lb pumpkin. It does not have to be a pie pumpkin any small pumpkin will do. First you must remove the outer skin. The skin is very hard and not easily removed. I find chopping the pumpkin into manageable pieces makes it much easier to work with. I cut mine in half or thirds, remember to remove any seeds and loose pulp you find inside. Bake seeds or discard in to compost. Then, carefully run a very sharp knife along the edge to remove small bits of skin a t a time. Once only the flesh or pompion is visible chop into small pieces and add water, just enough to help steam fruit. Add up to a cup of water, too much will make the puree too watery.

remove outer skin
remove outer skin
Chop into manageable pieces
Chop into manageable pieces

Cook pumpkin in stainless steel pot over medium heat, stir every now and again to be sure none is sticking to pot, if this does occur reduce heat. Once Pumpkin is soft enough to mash with a fork, remove from heat and mash with potato masher, or run through processor or hand mixer until it is a fine thick mush. (Like baby food) If using right away allow it to cool completely before use; makes between 4-5 cups, enough for at least 2 9inch pies.

To use puree later you can process in jars as you would jam or pickles. Put hot puree into hot sterilized jars, screw on lids and process in bath canner for 10 minutes. That’s 10 minutes from point of boiling. Remove and place on clean towel, leave for 24 hours ten tighten lids and store in a dry cool area for up to six months. Open when ready to use.

Pumpkin puree

The pie will set when removed from the heat source.
The pie will set when removed from the heat source.

Basic pumpkin pie recipe

Basic pumpkin pie recipe

½ cup brown sugar

½ tsp. salt

1. Tsp cinnamon

½ tsp. ginger

½ tsp. nutmeg

3 eggs

1 cup of cream (or evaporated milk)

1 unbaked pie shell

Bake at 400’F for 45-60 minutes or until knife comes clean from center


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      Susan 4 years ago from India

      Thanks for sharing this awesome hub. Voted up.