So the problem with homemade pumpkin puree is that sometimes it can be far more watery than the canned variety. Of course fresh pumpkin puree is going to be better for you. There’s no risk of bpa and you know exactly what’s going into it. I can’t help but be suspicious of any kind of canned food if I don’t can it myself. Yes, I do occasionally buy canned pumpkin puree, but mostly I make my own and freeze it to use whenever I want. If you’ve been putting off trying to make your own and if you already make your own but it’s too watery, this is for you
First start off with some fresh pumpkins. I bought mine from our local fruit stands, I got six in total for under $10. Make sure you buy sugar pumpkins though, they will be a smaller variety and will make for a smoother puree. I think the largest of my pumpkins actually wasn’t the right kind, but mixed with the other sugar pumpkins it was just fine.
Start by washing your pumpkins. Then remove the stem and slice the pumpkins in half with a large sharp knife. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon(you can save them for roasting if you want!). Place the pumpkin halves cut side down on a baking sheet. Pour water in the baking sheet to come up about half way on the edge of the pan and place in the oven. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour or until the flesh is very soft, depending on the side of your pumpkins.
Remove from the oven and let cool for just a few minutes before scooping the flesh into a food processor, blender or a large bowl or measuring cup(to blend with an immersion blender). Blend until completely smooth.
Place a large sieve lined with cheesecloth over a large bowl.
Pour the pumpkin in and let it drain. Your puree may not need much time to drain or if it’s particularly wet like mine was it may take a while to get to the right consistency. If you’re doing a large batch of pumpkins all at once like I was it’s best to do it in a few different batches to ensure that it drains properly.
When it’s done draining place the pumpkin in a bowl and stir together as the parts closest to the cheesecloth with have less moisture than the pumpkin at the top. If your pumpkin puree seems too dry add a little of the liquid from the bowl.
Place in well labelled ziplocs or containers for freezing and freeze for when you’re craving some delicious pumpkin treats!
- Sugar pumpkins
- Wash sugar pumpkins before cutting in half. Remove all the seeds and place pumpkin halves cut side down on a baking sheet. Fill the baking sheet with water, about half way up the edge of the baking sheet.
- Place in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour or until the flesh of the pumpkins is very soft. This will depend on the size of your pumpkins. When cooked, remove from the oven and let cool just a few minutes.
- Scoop the flesh into a food processor, blender or large bowl or measuring cup(to blend with an immersion blender). Blend until completely smooth.
- If the pumpkin is thinner than the canned variety line a large sieve with cheesecloth and place over a large bowl. Pour the pumpkin in and let drain as long as needed draining pumpkin in several batches if needed.
- Once the pumpkin has drained as much as needed place in a bowl and stir together. Place pumpkin in containers to freeze or refrigerate until needed.
And in case you’re looking for some pumpkin inspiration here are some of my favourite pumpkin recipes. And stay tuned for next week for some more pumpkin recipes!