Monday, October 15, 2012

Preparing Pumpkin Puree

"… Pa brought six yellow-gold pumpkins from the field."

~ Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Long Winter

This was our first year planting pumpkins and we really enjoyed harvesting our "sugar baby" variety. They are a smaller pumpkin yet perfect for the likes of pies, cakes and dessert bars. Here is how we prepared the puree...

We removed the outside peel, scooped out the seeds and flesh (save the seeds*).

Actually, my hubby did this part for me :)

Important Note: I did find out later that you could cook them with the peels on and
the skins will slip off once soft, *OOPS* sorry honey!

Wash thoroughly. Cut into smaller chunks and place in steamer.

Cover and steam until tender (about 20-30 minutes). 

They are finished when fork can easily poke through the pumpkin.

Dump contents into strainer to remove any excess water and then place into a large bowl.

Let cool a few minutes and puree until smooth (I used a stick blender).

You could probably mash this by hand with a manual masher if you had to.

Let the pumpkin puree cool.

Ladle into plastic containers and place in freezer to await their destinies as desserts or
store in the refrigerator and use within a week.

"You may cut the pumpkin in slices and peel them
while I make the piecrust," said Ma."

~ Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Long Winter

To use the frozen pumpkin in desserts, thaw in refrigerator 24 hours in advance. If you notice water on the surface, skim prior to using (though I didn't have that problem).

Note: The "Libby's" 15 oz. can equates to approximately 1 ¾ cups of your pumpkin puree. If you are interested, here is a super easy pie crust recipe which makes four at once. To make your pumpkin pie extra special, may I suggest that you top the whole surface with freshly whipped cream (you can do this up to a day in advance). Delicious!

*Also, don't forget to save your seeds! Here is a fun project using them...

How do you prepare your pumpkins? Happy harvesting!


  1. Oh yum! I have only used canned pumpkin from the store, but I bet this tastes far better and is better for you. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your pumpkin:) Have a good week!


  2. Oh, you grew pumpkins this year! I am picturing acres of the pretty orange ribbed globes scattered out like marbles! How much did you grow, do you think, and do you have a market at which to sell? But maybe, you just grew enough for freezing.. whatever, I think the smell of pumpkin pie one of the most pleasant aromas in the world!

    1. I have to agree with you :) We planted a few plants but reaped a decent amount from them. It was very fun to grow and pick!

  3. I baked 2 large pumpkins in the oven last fall & pureed them, putting several quart bags in the freezer. I just finished the last bag a week ago. I love the earthy taste of pumpkin much better than canned from the store. {I blogged about the process, if you are interested in checking it out.}

    1. Homemade is always better, don't you think ;)

  4. That looks great! I roasted mine last year, then put them through the food mill. I like your way too!

  5. I tend to freeze pumpkin raw, i'm not sure why I haven't frozen it as puree before

  6. We had some volunteer butternut squash grow and I was able to puree and freeze it. Just used some of it in some soup the other night and it added such a richness to the soup! I seasoned it all with a some leftover broth I had otherwise I would make pies with it. ;)

    1. We did the same thing with the butternut squash. It makes the best soup ever, especially with chicken broth! YUM! :)

  7. Oh yummy. I've never made fresh pumpkin pie. You inspire! I'll check out your pie crust recipe too! I've used Pioneer Womans it makes 2 at a time you can freeze! I like the idea of 4!
    Thanks for linking. Another entry for you in the Give a way! I know you'll love the prize!

  8. Great pumpkin tutorial! :) I would like to invite you to share your fall themed posts at my 2014 Harvest Hop linky party.

  9. I was just looking into how to make puree, thanks.