Making Pumpkin Puree From Scratch/Preserving Pumpkin and Winter Squash

I grow pie pumpkins specifically so I can make my own pumpkin puree to use in the plethora of pumpkin recipes I prepare at this time of the year.  Puree is so easy to make, it's hardly a recipe, but if you've never made it before, here are the quick and easy steps.  I also do the same for our winter squash - butternut, acorn, delicata - whatever we have.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prepare the pumpkins or squash by cutting the in half, lengthwise, and scooping out the seeds and strings {I use an ice cream scoop}.  Save the seeds if you'll be roasting them, or, if you have chickens, they will be thrilled to receive this great gift.

Place the halves, cut side down, in a baking pan.  Add about 1/2 inch of water to each pan.  Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until skin is easily pierced with a fork.  {I've had some butternuts take as long as 1 1/2 hours, but not very often}

Remove to a cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature.  Peel the skin away from the flesh, or, alternatively, scoop out the flesh.  You can mash with a potato masher or puree in a food processor to achieve your desired consistency.  If you are using within the week, the pumpkin/squash can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

For longer storage, place in a freezer-safe container or plastic bag and freeze.  If you'll be using it for specific recipes throughout the year, measure it and place the amount needed in a container.  Label it so you know later.

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  1. You know, I've never made mine this way? I do it the old way, cut it up, peel it and cook down the flesh. Nothing beats home made pumpkin puree!

  2. Thank you for posting this! I've been wanting to try for awhile. Can I use any type of pumpkin or would you recommend just to use the pie pumpkin ones. We're grown pumpkins here before, but they weren't the pie pumpkins.

  3. Mary - the other pumpkins are ok for saving seed but their pulp is too stringy and dry to use as puree. Pie pumpkins are really the only pumpkins worth saving the flesh from, in my opinion.

    Sue - I've found that Roasting, rather than boiling, saves the time of trying to remove the peel while it's hard and you end up with an end product ready to cook with, no need to drain. :)

  4. I've always been curious about making my own puree. We have pumpkins this year, but I don't think they are the pie pumpkins. Seeing your above comment, they probably wouldn't be good for puree. I planned on just using them for decoration anyway, but maybe next year I'll try to get some pie pumpkin seeds as well!

  5. I sometimes do it in the crockpot too because I'm lazy.


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