Nothing is easier than cracking open a can of pumpkin to make those aromatic fall treats.
But it’s honestly not too much harder to make your own puree. 😉
I’ve been known to have an abundance of pumpkins in the fall, and a few years back I decided to try to do a little more with them. Like actually eat them.
I usually prep two or three pumpkins and freeze the puree so that I have a nice supply of pumpkin to use throughout the year. But today I just cooked up one. It’s still early in the fall and I want to keep what I have for decorating. But this one had a spot that was starting to get soft, so it was definitely time to use it up.
Now the key to perfect pumpkin puree is to use the right kind of pumpkin. Sugar pumpkins are your best bet. They are sweeter, and the texture of their flesh is perfect for puree. They were literally bred for this reason. They don’t have watery or stringy flesh like the big pumpkins that you use for jack-o-lanterns do.
So here’s what I did to get some yummy pumpkin puree which will be perfect for some of our fall favorites like pumpkin pie cheesecake.
- Start by cutting your pumpkin in half and scooping out the seeds. Be sure to get rid of the stem as well.
- Normally I just flip the halves over on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake them, but this year I decided to try covering them with foil, using Shauna’s method from Lifting Spirits.
- I baked at 375 degrees for an hour, and it was the perfect consistency for me. Completely soft and easy to scoop.
- Let the pumpkin cool, and once it is, scoop the flesh into a food processor and blend until smooth.
- That’s it. I either jar mine or scoop it into plastic bags and freeze. With the one large sugar pumpkin that I used today, I got the equivalency of three cans of store-bought puree.
And I just want to say that the sweetness of these pumpkins is wonderful. I could have added a little cinnamon and butter to the pumpkin when it came out of the oven and it would have tasted like buttercup squash. This puree would be a great addition to baby food blends if you are looking to amp up the nutrition.