Making Homemade Pumpkin Puree is really very simple, and the flavor is worth the effort. It just takes a little time. Choose pumpkins that are characteristically sweet, and have a lot of flesh. While the puree may be primarily used in baking, it can also be incorporated into soups and stews to add thickness and earthy flavor. In fact, save the pumpkin water to add to your next pot of soup.
Step One – Roasting
Wash pumpkin(s), and cut a circle in the top around the stem to remove. With a large spoon, scrape out the innards, including the seeds, reserving for later if roasting the seeds. Place pumpkin(s) in a large baking dish with high sides, as the moisture typically leaks out of the pumpkin while roasting. Place into a 400F oven, and bake for one to 1 1/2 hours, or until the pumpkin is very soft. Allow to cool, then pour off pumpkin water, and with a large spoon, scrape the flesh off of the shell.
Step Two – Pureeing
In a large, fine sieve, over a bowl, press out as much liquid as possible with a spatula or ladle. Add pumpkin pulp to a blender, and puree until smooth, adding a small amount of liquid if necessary to get it started. Return to sieve, if still quite wet, and allow water to drip out, but not stirring the puree.
Step Three – Preserving
The easiest way to preserve this puree is to freeze it. Measure into a jar or container (or several) the amount that you will need for your recipe, so that you will not have to worry about measuring it once it is frozen. Then, label the jar with the contents, the date, and the amount. (It’s amazing what you will find at the bottom of your freezer, and its nice to have something to jog your memory!)
Step Four – Baking
When baking with homemade pumpkin puree using a recipe that calls for canned, you can either reduce the moisture content of the recipe, or adjust the flour in the recipe. You could also consider adding one to two tablespoons coconut flour to the recipe, as it absorbs a large amount of liquid.