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How to Make Fresh Pumpkin Puree (and a Pie Too!)

Working in a small biotechnology company, Leah enjoys gardening and raising chickens in Western New York.

Use "sugar" or "pie" pumpkins for puree. Alternatively, butternut squash may be used.

Use "sugar" or "pie" pumpkins for puree. Alternatively, butternut squash may be used.

Homemade Pumpkin Puree Ratings

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

1 hour 30 min

1 hour 40 min

Variable, depends on the size of the pumpkin.

Ingredients

  • 1 sugar pumpkin, deseeded
  • Splash olive oil (or other cooking oil)

Instructions

  1. Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds. Save the seeds to roast, or discard them.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Rub the cut sides of the pumpkin with extra virgin olive oil (or other cooking oil).
  4. Place aluminum foil in a roasting pan. Place the pumpkins cut-side down into the pan.
  5. Roast them for approximately 90 minutes, or until the flesh is tender.
  6. Remove them from the oven, and allow them to cool until it can be handled.
  7. Use a spoon and separate the flesh from the skin. Place the flesh into a bowl.
  8. Use a food processor or hand-blender to puree the flesh until it is smooth.
  9. Line a sieve with coffee filters or cheese-cloth, and allow the pureed pumpkin to drain for 1–2 hours. Use the back of a wooden spoon to stir the puree periodically.
  10. Put the pumpkin puree into freezer containers, label, and store for up to three months.

Fresh Pumpkin Puree vs. Canned Pumpkin

Making pumpkin puree is an extremely simple process, but is it really that different from canned pumpkin? There are both advantages and disadvantages to using it instead of canned pumpkin. Using fresh pumpkin puree offers a fresh, lively flavor, and it is extremely inexpensive to make, particularly in the fall when sugar pumpkins are on sale. The puree can be frozen and stored for future use.

In addition, other squash varieties can be prepared in the same way and formed into pies. Butternut squash makes an excellent alternative to pumpkin and will make delicious pies, quick breads, and other baked goods. Gardeners who have a bumper crop of butternut squash or pumpkin can puree the excess and store it for use in seasonal recipes.

Unfortunately, fresh pumpkin puree is often variable in moisture content and in texture. Be sure to strain extra moisture from your puree by placing the pulp in a strainer lined with cheesecloth or coffee filters. This will help to ensure a more consistent homemade product.

Another benefit of making fresh puree is that it is a fun tradition in the fall months. Children are fascinated when they see a pumpkin pie made directly from the source.

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Moreover, while store-bought canned pumpkin works well and can be found in traditional and organic varieties, it may not be available outside of the Thanksgiving season. So if you want to enjoy pumpkin delicacies at other times of the year, homemade puree may be your best bet!

Nothing tastes better than warm, fresh pumpkin pie!

Nothing tastes better than warm, fresh pumpkin pie!

Fresh Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cans of evaporated milk (12 ounces each)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Mix until smooth with an electric mixer.
  4. Pour the pumpkin pie mixture into the pie crust (unbaked pie crust).
  5. Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350°F and bake for an additional 45–60 minutes. The pie is done when a butter knife inserted into the center of the pie comes out clean.

Nutritional Information About Pumpkin

Pumpkins are a deep red-orange color for a reason: They are loaded with beta carotene. Beta carotene is converted into vitamin A by the body, and is used by the eyes and for bone growth. The cells in the eye responsible for vision at night are dependent on vitamin A, as it forms the pigments necessary for this function. The immune system also uses vitamin A to produce white blood cells.

Pumpkins also contain folate, a B vitamin important for women in childbearing years, vitamin E, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, and calcium. It does not have any fat or cholesterol.

They can be incorporated into many recipes and makes excellent soup, pies, quick breads, and can be used in stews.

© 2012 Leah Lefler

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