How to Make Pumpkin Puree from Scratch

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Homemade Pumpkin Puree from Scratch

Don’t worry. If you’re wondering how to make pumpkin puree from scratch, the good news is that it’s actually easy to do, and hard to mess up!

If you’re growing your own pumpkins, you’ll definitely want to learn how to make pumpkin puree. Or you can take advantage of the beautiful fall and winter squash on display at your local grocer or farmers’ market. Wherever you get your pumpkins and other winter squash, making homemade pumpkin puree from scratch is easy and rewarding!

If you need help with selecting and processing a pumpkin, you can visit these articles here first:

We touch on those subjects here too, but only lightly, so in case you need more we’ve got you covered in those articles.

How Many Pumpkins Do You Need?

The amount of pumpkin puree you get per pumpkin, will of course, depend on the size and variety of pumpkin you’re using. The pumpkin variety affects the taste and quantity of usable pulp for puree.

An easy average to remember is that you’ll get approximately one cup of pumpkin puree per one pound of pumpkin or squash. It might be a little less, or it might be a little more, but we use this estimate because it’s close enough for your cooking planning, plus easy to remember.

Pumpkins yields roughly ±1 cup of pumpkin puree per 1 lb. of pumpkin or winter squash.

What Are the Best Pumpkins for Making Pumpkin Puree?

Dense sweet pumpkins, also called sugar pumpkins or pie gourds, are the best pumpkins for making pumpkin puree. These are often smaller and sweeter and the higher density, (heavier and less hollow sounding) will also be an indication of less seeds and stringy fibers, in favor of more desirable pulp.

You can find a list and more information on best pumpkins for pumpkin pie and purees here.

Once you have your best pumpkin picked out, it’s time to process it.

Prepping the Pumpkin

Here’s how to process a pumpkin for puree, if you need a step-by-step; meanwhile, here’s an abbreviated outline.

  • CUT the pumpkin in half horizontally or vertically. (If cutting is hard for you, bake it lightly first. See more on cutting pumpkins.
  • SCOOP out the seeds and pulp.
  • SAVE SEEDS for roasting, (if you don’t want to roast them, these can be pureed with the fibrous innard, or fed to pets and livestock.
  • SAVE the FIBER (the fibrous strands or innards) for pureeing into breads, soups and casseroles
  • BAKE pumpkin, (whole, halves and/or pieces. Find more on baking pumpkins here.

Process Baked Pumpkin

  • REMOVE seeds and innards, if you haven’t already.
  • PEEL the skin
  • CHOP pumpkin or squash into smaller pieces.
  • PUREE using any of these:
    • Food processor (our preferred method)
    • hand mixer
    • hand masher, or blender.
  • MASH Pulse or mash the pumpkin flesh
  • USE your puree in any of the following ways:
    • Immediately in your recipe of choice
    • Add seasoning to get the puree recipe-ready, then use or store
      • pumpkin spice mix for sweet dishes
      • butter, salt, and pepper; rosemary oil and sage, etc.
  • STORE any extra –
    • in the fridge for up to a week
    • in the freezer for several months

Here’s expanded step-by-step pumpkin baking instructions, if you need more help with that.

Using Pumpkin Puree

You can now use your homemade pumpkin puree right away as it is, for any recipe calling for it.

Pumpkin puree can be used to make pie, bread, bars, cheesecake, muffins, pumpkin casserole (savory or sweet), pancakes, soup, ice cream, fruit leather, pumpkin dog treats, dog food, and more!

Storing Pumpkin Puree

Yes, You Can Freeze Pumpkin Puree

You can store your pumpkin puree in the refrigerate for up to a week (give or take a few, as the general consensus). Or, if you have more than you can (or want) to use in that time, you can freeze pumpkin puree.

We put our pumpkin puree into freezer bags and flatten it out smoothly and lay it flat to freeze. After that, you can continue storing it stacked horizontally, or you can “bookcase” them vertically, depending on your available freezer space on any given day.

FREEZING PUMPKIN PUREE: Place in freezer bag in amounts you typically need for your recipes. E.g. 1.5-2 cups is typical.

Canning Pumpkin Puree

While some people have had success canning pumpkin puree at home, this practice is not recommended, due to very specific temperature requirements for non-acidic food.

Dehydrating Pumpkin Puree

You may dehydrate the puree into dried fruit leather, in much the way you would other fruit puree, butter or preserves. (Yes, pumpkin is actually a fruit!)  

Pumpkin Spice Puree Recipes

Pumpkin Spice Puree

Puree together (in approximate quantities to taste):

  • 2 cups pumpkin puree (approximately)
  • 2 Tbsp butter, coconut oil or MCT oil
  • 1 Tbsp sweetener of choice (we like maple syrup, maple sugar, or Keto sweetener)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla

Pumpkin Spice Puree Milk Latte Recipe With Real Pumpkin

Using the recipe above for pumpkin spice puree recipe, add it to the following to serve 2:

  • 1 cup pumpkin spice puree
  • 2 cup milk or nut milk of choice

Whisk together in a pot over medium heat. Stir frequently while bringing to a simmer. Remove from heat before it comes to a boil. Taste and add another round of spices if you like it more flavorful. Top with whipped cream if desired.

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Latte Recipe With Real Pumpkin Puree

Use the milk latte recipe above, but adjust to these quantities for two 12 oz servings

  • 1 cup pumpkin spice puree
  • 1 cup milk or nut milk of choice
  • 1 cup strong coffee or espresso

While coffee is brewing whisk together seasoned puree and milk in a pot over medium heat. Stir frequently while bringing to a simmer. Remove from heat before it comes to a boil. Taste and add another round of spices if you like it more flavorful. Top with whipped cream or marshmallows if desired.

Pumpkin Spice Latte With Kahlua, Cream and Real Pumpkin

  • 1 cup pumpkin spice puree
  • 1 cup half & half, (or milk or nut milk)
  • 2 shots Kahlua liquor

Whisk together pumpkin spice puree and milk in a pot over medium heat. Stir frequently while bringing to a simmer. Remove from heat before it comes to a boil. Taste and add another round of spices if you like it more flavorful.

Pour into mugs (glass mugs are nice), drizzle in kahlua shots, top with whipped cream if desired. Sprinkle with a pumpkin spice blend.

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