Homemade Pumpkin Puree | Secrets to Make it Sweet & Thick

by Becky
Published: Updated:

After many frustrating attempts at making homemade pumpkin puree, I’ve finally landed on the secrets to make it absolutely amazing! Those cans of pumpkin puree at the grocery store don’t even come close to the homemade version. And a big bonus if you grow your own pumpkins is it’s so much cheaper to make.

homemade pumpkin puree

Each year we strive to grow a little bit more and replace items that we are buying at the store. On the list for this year was to grow a lot of pumpkins to replace all our store-bought pumpkin puree. We love to use homemade pumpkin puree in our pancakes, pie, and occasionally in cookies.

It was a great year for the pumpkins and they grew like crazy. I brought them into my home as they hardened and about a month later I made one into pumpkin puree. It was OK but not great. As I thought a little more about it, I realized I had made a couple mistakes and there were some things I could do better for the next batch. 

I waited another few months and tried again this time with a different method. The puree turned out amazing! There were three game changers.

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The Secrets to the Best Homemade Pumpkin Puree

The secret to the best homemade pumpkin puree is:

#1 Allowing enough time for the pumpkin to cure. Winter squash and pumpkin actually sweeten up as they sit. Letting them sit for a few more months made them so much sweeter.

#2 Choose the right variety. Any pumpkin meant for pumpkin pie, like winter luxury, new england pie, or long island cheese is good. I grow long island cheese because they aren’t bothered as much by squash bugs. DON’T USE THE JACK O’LANTERN type pumpkins to make pumpkin puree. You’ll be disappointed. They are watery, stringy, and quite frankly horrible to try and convert into a puree used mostly in baked goods.

#3 Drain off the excess liquid. This is the absolute key! The flavor is so much more intense and delicious.

Here is my method for making Pumpkin Puree:

1.Preheat oven to 350ºF

2. Cut the pumpkin in half hamburger style

3. Scrape our seeds and strings

4. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, with the skin side exposed and the pumpkin meat facing down.

roasted pumpkins

5. Cook for about one hour or until the pumpkin is very soft.

6. Take out of the oven and place in a colander or strainer that is over a bowl. The goal is to have all the extra liquid drain off the pumpkin. 

roasted pumpkins

7. Let the pumpkin sit in the colander until it cools off. 

8. Discard the liquid (I couldn’t think of a way to use the excess but if you would like to save and use it for something that’s great too!) 

9. Peel the skin off the pumpkin

homemade pumpkin puree

10. Place the pumpkin in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

11. At this point you can put it in a freezer safe container and freeze until you use it.

pumpkin puree

Note: It is not safe to can pumpkin puree.

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

After many frustrating attempts at making homemade pumpkin puree, I’ve finally landed on the secrets to make it absolutely amazing! Those cans of pumpkin puree at the grocery store don’t even come close to the homemade version. And a big bonus if you grow your own pumpkins is it’s so much cheaper to make.
Calories: 6kcal

Ingredients

  • Pumpkin

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF
  • Cut the pumpkin in half hamburger style
  • Scrape out the seeds and strings
  • Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, with the skin side exposed and the pumpkin meat facing down.
  • Cook for about one hour or until the pumpkin is very soft.
  • Take out of the oven and place in a colander or strainer that is over a bowl. The goal is to have all the extra liquid drain off the pumpkin.
  • Let the pumpkin sit in the colander until it cools off.
  • Discard the liquid (I couldn’t think of a way to use the excess but if you would like to save and use it for something that’s great too!)
  • Peel the skin off the pumpkin
  • Place the pumpkin in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
  • At this point you can put it in a freezer safe container and freeze until you use it.

Nutrition

Calories: 6kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.1g | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 0.5g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 0.1mg | Potassium: 8mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.01g | Vitamin A: 0.2IU | Vitamin C: 0.02mg | Calcium: 0.5mg | Iron: 0.1mg

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