To me this is the HEIGHT of pumpkin season. Halloween is officially over and we’re moving on to Thanksgiving where Pumpkin Pies are just begging to be made. Last year I made a few different pumpkin treats and every time I used canned pumpkin and I will say that everything I made was good.
The more I cook and the more I bake the more I realize that I want to do things from scratch, that I want to step away from using items that are canned or frozen whenever possible. So when I wanted to make some Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins I knew that it was time to stop using canned and use my own pumpkin puree. It is easier than you think and here’s how I did it!
I started with a Pie Pumpkin (they’re smaller and sweeter and way better for baking than carving pumpkins).
Using a sharp knife, carefully cut your pie pumpkin in half.
Using a tablespoon or a pumpkin scooper if you’re lucky enough to have one. Set aside the flesh and pumpkin seeds in a strainer (you’ll need these later when I show you how easy it is to make your own roasted pumpkin seeds).
After all your pumpkins have been cut in half and scooped out place them in a glass dish, or in my case on a cookie sheet flesh side down (since I had two pumpkins). Fill the bottom of the tray with some water and place in the oven for 40-60 minutes at 350 degrees.
You’ll know the pumpkins are done when you can pierce through the skin easily with a fork!
I pierced my pumpkins multiple times, you know, just to make sure! Then I started peeling the skin off, if it’s done, it should come off really easily!
The next step is to puree your pumpkins, I used a food processor:
If you don’t have a food processor you can use a blender or mash the pumpkin like you would mashed potatoes! I used two pie pumpkins and got approximately 5 1/2 cups of Pumpkin Puree, enough to make a pie and then some!
Now was that hard? No, I didn’t think so 😉
The most time consuming part of this process (besides the actual baking of the pumpkins) is scooping out the seeds and separating the seeds from the flesh but if you don’t plan on roasting the seeds you don’t have to do that and it makes this even easier!
I’ve made quite a few things from the puree already and let me tell you, it’s worth the time it takes to make your own puree. It is SO SO worth it and I encourage everyone to do it at least once because then you won’t go back, next year I plan on doing a pie pumpkin cooking day where I will cook and puree pumpkin and can it for use throughout the season!
Alternate way to cook your pumpkin:
Steaming for 20 minutes
Steaming your pumpkin takes significantly less time so in a pinch I would do that but there is something about baking that I think really brings out the flavor of the pumpkin!
Come back tomorrow for how you can roast your own pumpkin seeds (that’s super easy too!)
- Cut your pie pumpkin in half and scoop out the stringy insides and seeds.
- Place in the oven for 45-60 minutes at 350 degrees. When they're done you'll be able to pierce the pumpkin easily with a fork.
- Take the skin off the pumpkin and place the flesh in a food processor and blend to puree.
- Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days.