Making pumpkin puree from a whole is super easy and tastes delicious
lot of people use canned pumpkin puree even when they have a whole squash lying around because they don’t know how easy it is to make pumpkin puree. In truth, it’s dead simple, and in my opinion, actually easier than going to the store to buy some.
Oh, and this technique works on all hard-shelled (winter) squash. In fact, most canned “pumpkin” is actually closer to butternut squash than pumpkin.
Here’s how to make pumpkin puree:
1) Preheat your oven to 350° F (175° C)
Some people recommend setting the oven to 325° (165° C) so the pumpkin cooks more slowly and doesn’t dry out. I’ve found this works for smaller squash (i.e., under 10 Lbs), but the bigger ones really need the higher temp to cook all the way through in a reasonable amount of time.
2) Remove the pumpkin top and pull out the seeds and pulp.
I find the easiest way to remove the seeds and pulp is to uses a metal slotted spoon. It doesn’t need to be perfectly clean. Just scrape out the seeds and stringy pulp.
3) Place the two pumpkin halves on a baking sheet and bake
Place you halved pumpkin on the baking sheet with the bottom up and bake for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, flip the pumpkin over and bake for another 30 – 40 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when you can pierce it all the way through with a skewer or fork.
4) Remove from oven and cool
After your pumpkin is done baking, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool enough so you can handle it.
5) Scrape out the pumpkin flesh
Using a metal spoon or similar utensil, scrape the pumpkin flesh out of the pumpkin into a bowl. The flesh should be soft and separate easily from the skin.
6) Blend until smooth and creamy
Using a blender, food processor or mixer (I go with the blender), puree the soft pumpkin flesh until it is smooth and creamy. If you want it extra creamy, push the pureed pumpkin through a strainer to remove and stringy parts that didn’t blend.
Your Pumpkin Puree is Ready to Use!
Yes, that’s all there is to it! Your puree is now ready to use. If you’re not going to use it immediately, you can refrigerate it for several days (keep it covered so it doesn’t dry out), or pack it into a freezer bag and keep it for months.
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