How to Make Pumpkin Purée

October 7, 2013 4:55 am

The Craft Beer Cookbook by Jacquelyn DoddJackie Dodd is a Los Angeles-based recipe developer, food photographer and food writer. She runs two food web sites: Domestic Fits, which combines original recipes with “how-to” cooking and baking tips, and The Beeroness, which focuses on cooking and baking with craft beer (yes, craft beer is unprocessed). Her first book, The Craft Beer Cookbook was just released this month and contains 100 imaginative recipes for cooking with beer. You can connect with her on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest.

This is a guest post for October Unprocessed. If this is your first time here, welcome! …and it’s not too late to join in!

How to make Pumpkin Purée

Sooooo, you want to Pumpkin All The Things but you took a pledge to ban the cans? I got you covered. And really, it’s simple. Turning a pumpkin into a pumpkin flavored treat is really easy, just takes a bit of time. But you can totally do this, and your unprocessed life will soon be filled with pumpkin scones, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin soup, and pumpkin toothpaste (oh wait…).

First, lets talk about the pumpkins. What pumpkins can be used? Can you make pie out of those Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins you buy your kids at the grocery store? What is a pie pumpkin?

You can eat any variety of pumpkin; all are squash and all are edible but not all pumpkins are grown to be eaten, so the variety you use will affect your results. (Be careful not confuse pumpkins with gourds – those are not edible.)

Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins have been bred for decades for qualities that have nothing to do with taste. Although still technically edible, the flavors are not taken into account when breeding. Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins are now bred for thick skin that can hold up to carving, as well as a heartiness to survive after being carved, and set outside with a candle stuck in its guts. Look for a pie pumpkin, most commonly called a Sugar Pie Pumpkin. They’re small, about the size of a cantaloupe. If you’re confused, jut ask your grocer.

Let’s get started.

1. Preheat oven to 375° F.

2. Remove the stem by running a butter knife around the edges and then prying it off.

How to make Pumpkin Purée

3. Cut the pumpkin in half, right through the hole left by the stem.

How to make Pumpkin Purée

4. Scoop the seeds out with a spoon.

[Andrew adds: Don't toss those pumpkin seeds! Although it's a rather slimy process, if you separate out the seeds, you can roast them in the oven for a fantastic Fall snack. Here's a good tutorial on how to do it.]

How to make Pumpkin Purée

5. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place pumpkins on baking sheets, cover tightly with aluminum foil. Roast at 375° for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until a fork can easily slide into the skin.

How to make Pumpkin Purée

6. Allow to cool and scoop the flesh out.

How to make Pumpkin Purée

7. Add to a food processor and puree until smooth.

8. Store in an air-tight container. Pumpkin puree also freezes well.

24 Comments on "How to Make Pumpkin Purée"
  1. Comment left on:
    October 9, 2013 at 7:31 pm
    Nadine says:

    This is SO easy! Thank you for answering a question I’ve had for years. Looking forward to making pumpkin goodies.

  2. Comment left on:
    October 10, 2013 at 4:38 pm
    Susi Castillo says:

    Gracias! Que facil!

  3. Comment left on:
    October 14, 2013 at 9:19 pm
    Terry says:

    I can hardly wait to try to make this. We weren’t sure if the small pumpkins we see everywhere here were more edible than the large carving pumpkins. Thank you so much for this post and this recipe!

  4. Comment left on:
    October 21, 2013 at 7:01 am
    Tina says:

    Can this be canned so as to not take up fridge space? And does baking kill the nutrients of the pumpkin? Wondered if you could make a raw version, hmm! Looks great, going to make today for smoothies.

  5. Comment left on:
    October 27, 2013 at 6:54 pm
    Rebecca says:

    I have also found that if you place your halved pumpkin in a crock pot for 6 to 8 hours it comes out nice and mushy, it is also very easy to just peel the skin off. Just a helpful tip that has helped me!! :)

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