Pumpkin Purée

Let’s pretend there’s a canned pumpkin shortage going on. Every grocery store within 20 miles of your house is completely out, and Thanksgiving is just days away. How will you make that delicious pumpkin pie recipe you’re clutching in your hands? Well, lucky for you, you thought ahead and already picked up some pumpkins while they were plentiful. Or better yet, you grew your own. Either way, those pumpkins need to be pureed before they can be baked in a pie.

It’s preferable to use smallish sugar pumpkins, (aka pie pumpkins). This variety will be sweetest and easier to cut than a large jack-o-lantern type pumpkin. Larger pumpkins can be used, but be ready to strain out excess liquid from the puree and use a large, sharp knife.

Let’s make pumpkin purée...


Cut the top off the pumpkins. This will provide you with a flat spot to lie the pumpkin on to make cutting it into fourths much easier.


Cut the pumpkin into four pieces.


Scrape out the pulp and set the seeds aside for roasting later.


Once you’ve gutted all the quarters, place the pieces on a baking sheet. Bake in a 300°F oven for about an hour, or until they’re soft and browned.


Take the roasted pumpkin pieces out of the oven and let them cool until you’re able to handle them.


Cut away the outer skin so only pumpkin chunks remain. 


Place the pumpkin pieces into a food processor.


Pulse several times until the pumpkin becomes a smooth texture. If the mixture is dry, you can add a Tablespoon or two of water. If it’s too wet, you can strain it through cheesecloth or a coffee filter to remove moisture. 

Place the puree into containers with tight lids or plastic freezer bags. I like to place 1 1/4 cups in each container since that’s what I need for a pie.


If you’re not planning to use the purée right away, make sure you put it in the freezer to keep it fresh.