The Great Pumpkin – Homemade Pumpkin Purée

In the fall, pumpkin dominates a lot of recipes. For ease, I often turn to easy-to-find canned pumpkin. I always thought it was super complicated to make my own pumpkin purée.

Well, thanks to our resident baker of “all things delicious”, Sue Sarters, I now know differently.  Recently, Sue purchased some of our pie pumpkins and took them home to make her own homemade pumpkin purée.  She then took that homemade pumpkin purée and used some in a recipe for pumpkin cheesecake muffins. Wow! Those were some of the most amazing pumpkin muffins I have ever had. I learned that it really makes all the difference in the world when you make it from scratch.

Read on if you would like to learn how to make your own homemade pumpkin purée. It can be used in any recipe that calls for pumpkin. It really is very simple and easy. I have included the pumpkin cheesecake muffin recipe for your enjoyment as well.

When shopping for your pumpkin, look for the smaller pie pumpkins. These tend to pack a lot more flavor and have more meat in them. They should weigh about a pound and a half to two pounds each. You can use the big ones, but they just don’t pack the same punch.

  1. Cut the tops off of the pumpkins in a circle, just like you would for making a jack-o-lantern.
  2. Cut the pumpkins in half and scoop out the seeds and tendrils. Place the pumpkin shells meat-side up in a baking pan with higher sides.
  3. Fill pan with about 1 inch of water and cover with foil.
  4. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until fork tender.
  5. Line a colander with cheesecloth and scrape out pumpkin meat into colander.
  6. Let sit for 1-2 hours to drain moisture.
  7. Puree, mash, or process the meat to the desired consistency for the recipe you’re preparing – very smooth for a mousse, less so for a standard pie.
  8. Use immediately in any recipe or freeze in bags for future use.
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