How to Make Pumpkin Puree for Baking
Making Homemade Pumpkin Puree to use in desserts and even savory dishes is so easy! It can be used in so many different baking and dessert recipes for the September baking season, but it has loads of uses for savory dishes too! Skip the canned pumpkin and make your own with my super easy do-it-yourself recipe at home!
By the way, if you’re looking for yummy recipes to use your Pumpkin Puree, I highly recommend my delicious Pumpkin Bread, Pumpkin Mousse Bars, and I have to say, one of my favourites: Chocolate And Pumpkin Cheesecake!
Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.
What type of pumpkin should you use?
The great thing about my recipe is that you can use most pumpkins. In Australia, use ‘Kent Pumpkins’, otherwise known as ‘Jap Pumpkins’. In the USA, you can use what’s called ‘Baking Pumpkins’.
What’s important to know is that the liquid content in your pumpkin will depend on the type of pumpkin you use. Using my recipe, and using a cheese cloth to strain the pumpkin, you can get pumpkin puree that is as thick and usable as canned pumpkin.
How to make Pumpkin Puree!
Making your own pumpkin puree at home is so easy!
- Begin by wiping your pumpkin with water and then pat dry. This will make cutting through it safe and prevent any soil or dust from being cut into your pumpkin and ending up in your pumpkin puree.
- Use a large knife to carefully cut your pumpkin in half.
- Use a spoon to scoop put the seeds and innards. Discard them.
- Place the pumpkin halves, cut side down onto a baking tray. Bake for up to 90 minutes.
- Scoop the cooked pumpkin away from the skin into a food processor.
- Process until smooth.
- To strain your pumpkin, pour into a sieve that’s lined with a cheese cloth.
- Tie two knots up the top and allow to strain for a couple hours or overnight
- Discard excess liquid and use!
What the heck is a cheese cloth?
These things are so great! I use mine to make thick, real Greek Tzatziki, but they can be used to thicken things like this! You can find these things literally anywhere. They’re often called Muslin cloths and cost a couple dollars to buy.
Tips and Tricks For Recipe Success!
- Make sure you clean your pumpkin with a damp cloth and pat dry it before cutting.
- When cutting the pumpkin, use a tea towel to hold one end as you use a large knife to cut the other side of the pumpkin. You want to be careful cutting your pumpkin. Depending on the one you’re using, it can be a little hard to cut.
- If you’re using a pre-cut pumpkin, carefully slice off each end. When they’re cut at stores, they’re often not cleaned before cutting and the knife goes through the skin before it cuts the flesh and can have traces of soil and dust which will end up in your pumpkin puree.
Frequently Asked Questions about making Pumpkin Puree
Ways you can use Pumpkin Puree
You can use this recipe in things like pasta sauce, risotto, muffins and bread, pancakes and pie!
How do I store this?
Pumpkin Puree can be stored in an airtight container, in the fridge for up a week. Can be frozen for 3 months. If freezing, allow to thaw completely, then strain using a cheese cloth again. This is especially important for recipes like pumpkin pie where excess moisture can cause disastrous results.
Can I use canned pumpkin instead?
Yep! If you can find canned pumpkin, it’s perfectly fine to use it when called for in a recipe. However, canned pumpkin is not sold in all countries, so you’ll need to resort to making your own. Luckily, it’s really easy to make!
Believe it or not, Aussies don’t really make pumpkin pie in September, or really any time of the year. Number one, it’s spring in September. For those reasons, unless you go to a specialty store, there’s no canned pumpkin for sale anywhere! So we need to make our own if we want to join in the yummy pumpkin season!
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Easy Homemade Pumpkin Puree For Desserts
- 1 small baking pumpkin, about 2kg (see notes)
- 1 pinch of salt optional
- Preheat a fan-forced oven to 180C / 355F. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
- Rinse and pat dry the pumpkin. Use a large knife to carefully cut it in two. Begin by cutting from the top, down on one side, then use your non-cutting hand to hold down the cut side while you cut the other side. Once cut in half use a tablespoon to scoop out the seeds and insides as best you can. Discard.
- Place on a large baking tray, cut side down. Bake in the middle rack for 60-90 minutes or until a sharp knife can go through it easily when pierced. Allow to cool slightly.
- Use a spoon to scoop the pumpkin away from the skin into a food processor. Process until very smooth, about 3 minutes.
- Place a sieve over a large bowl and place a large piece of cheese cloth on top. Pour the pumpkin puree into the cheese cloth. Tie two knots at the top Place in the fridge to strain for a couple hours, overnight is best. The pumpkin will thicken, making it suitable to use in recipes Pumpkin Muffins, Pumpkin Cookies and especially Pumpkin Pie!