It’s easier than you think, making your own pumpkin puree! Sure, canned pumpkin is convenient, ready to use but roasting your own pumpkin tastes so much better and it really isn’t difficult at all! You can roast a few baking pumpkins and can them yourself, so you always have some on hand. I load up a few mason jars and toss them in the freezer for a rainy day of fall baking.
There are a lot of different ways to roast a baking pumpkin. Here I’ll show you my preferred method and an even easier one so you don’t have to deal with trying to cut through that stubborn thick skin, afraid to lose your fingers!!
Pumpkin Puree is great to use in pies, breads, soups, and other delicious treats.
Slice the pumpkin in half avoiding the stem, place pumpkins face down on your cookie sheet and don’t worry about removing the seeds, it’s easier to do it later. If you’re worried about cutting through the pumpkin or are having difficulties slicing through, then don’t! Yup it’s that easy, just leave the pumpkin whole and bake it as is. Once the skin softens (about half of the original baking time) you can easily slide a sharp knife through it (just make sure you wear an oven mitt to protect your hand from the hot pumpkin while cutting, and clearly don’t try cutting with an oven mitt on!).
After the pumpkin is baked, I leave it to cool. I find it easier to work with the pumpkin once it has cooled down and isn’t piping hot. By the way doesn’t your home smell amazing? Full of warm rich aromas coming from the kitchen, the smell alone is a good reason to roast your own pumpkin!
Now you can simply scoop out the seeds and discard them (or keep the seeds and make your own roasted pumpkin seeds). Then scoop out the pumpkin flesh and place in a separate bowl. You can always use the empty pumpkin skins as bowls too, they make cute bowls for your pumpkin soup or another dish.
- 1 -2 small baking pumpkins
- Preheat oven to 375˚F
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (make sure the baking sheet has edges or juices may run off onto the bottom of your oven)
- Rinse off pumpkins and cut pumpkins in half with a large sharp knife and place face down
- Bake for 1-2 hours until skin is dark and flesh is extremely soft (this time depends on the size of your pumpkins, you may need to bake them even longer)
- Take pumpkins out, turn them over facing up and let cool on the baking sheet
- Once cooled, scoop out seeds and discard
- Then scoop out the pumpkin flesh and place in a separate large bowl
- Use an immersion blender to puree the pumpkin flesh (you can also use a cuisnart food processor or even a potato masher)
- Store puree in glass jars in the fridge for one week or freeze for up to 2 months
If you find the pumpkin extra watery once you're scooping out the flesh, try and press some of the liquid out before pureeing it.
Also if you freeze the puree you may get extra water as well, make sure you discard the extra liquid.
Make sure you purchase baking pumpkins not the decorative pumpkins