A little over 3 years ago, I shared with you our recipe for pumpkin pie that uses home-made pumpkin puree. Phil is absolutely adamant about it, having grown up watching his Grandma and his Mom make the puree from scratch and producing delicious pies with it. But, there’s more than pie to pumpkin, and by making the puree yourself, you can also enjoy your own roasted pumpkin seeds. Plus, one large pumpkin will give enough puree to last for a year!  Yes, you can do it with large pumpkins, even if they are a little more fibrous. And yes, it freezes quite well. Without further ado, here’s how we make it…

First, you need to cover a working surface with newspaper, and your body with a nice apron. Then cut open a lid on the top of your pumpkin, and scoop out all the seeds and the fibers that glue them together. Reserve them for later.

Next, cut large slices that will fit over baking sheets, and place them in a 350 F oven, with the cut side down. No need for salt, no need for oil. Easy as pie.
Bake the pumpkin for about 1 hour, or until soft. A good test is pushing your finger lightly on the skin, it should form an indentation.

Now, let the fun begin!  Scrape the flesh into a bowl, and go to the sink, carrying the cooked pumpkin, an empty bowl, and a potato ricer.  Place some of the pulp in the masher, and squeeze out with a light pressure, just to release what is mostly water.  Let that go down the drain.  Once you feel most of the watery stuff is released, puree the pulp into the clean, empty bowl.  Do that in batches until all the pulp is passed through the holes of the ricer.

Now, marvel at the beauty of the mashed pumpkin you made yourself, or at least that you took pictures from while your husband worked hard at it… 😉
You can use it to make a nice pumpkin pie like the one I blogged about…
And save the rest in the freezer. I normally make a few 1-cup and some larger portions. Make sure to label, because the freezer can quickly turn into a parallel universe, unknown and mysterious.
My next two posts will feature goodies I made with our uncanned pumpkin…  First, I will show you an interesting take on roasted pumpkin seeds, and next…  well, next I cannot tell you yet.  It’s a secret.  😉


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THREE YEARS AGO: Celery and Apple Salad

30 thoughts on “PUMPKIN UNCANNED

    • I sometimes hear that the canned version is more “trustworthy” – like buying canned tomatoes when the season is over or something… but we’ve never had issues with our home-made version and everything we make with it is pretty tasty


  1. I lived on a farm for many years and always made puree. So much better than canned. A hint… The choice of pumpkin makes a huge difference in yield. I’ve always thought of the pumpkins you have pictured as “Halloween” pumpkins, good for face carving but the yield of pulp is low. Field pumpkins, the ones that are flatter and frosted almost pink, yield far more pulp. Even better are the flat, deeply ridged pumpkins that people often use for decoration. The flesh in those is 2″ to 3″ thick and delicious!


    • Yes, indeed, some people are a bit surprised we do the big pumpkins, but we get a ton of pulp from it, usually a lot more than we can use in the course of a year, so we end up “recycling” the ones still left in the freezer when next batch of pumpkin comes 🙂

      In Phil’s famly, they would buy the large pumpkins around Halloween time and the ones that sit there uncarved would never go to waste, they would make puree from it. I guess we are following tradition… even if a little “unorthodox”


  2. I’ve tried this a few times and now see I may not have allowed anough water to drain away! Plus the ricer is a great tip!! I’ve not seen any pumpkins around here but if I do I can’t wait to try this…and all your recipes!!


  3. I’ve tried to ‘like’ pumpkin but it seems to be an innate not an acquired taste. Even the cheesecake I made and posted ended up being given away to more appreciative palates.


    I still have 2 cups of canned pumpkin puree in my freezer ( I laughed when I read “the freezer can quickly turn into a parallel universe, unknown and mysterious” as it’s SO true) looking for an appropriate use. The chickpea and pumpkin soup was, sadly, a disappointment.

    I’ll keep an eye open for future uses of your pumpkin puree though making my own is definitely not in my future. 🙂


  4. I roasted pumpkin and made purée for the first time last Fall. To be honest, I’d forgotten all about it until I read your post. I think it’s time to pull some of it out and put it to use! Thanks for the reminder and inspiration. I cannot wait to see how you use yours, Sally. I’m sure it will be delicious!


    • It’s a fun project, and as I said, you won’t need to do it more than once a year. What is great is finding uses for all that nice pumkin puree waiting for you in the freezer


  5. I love when there is a family history of doing something the ‘real’ way. It makes it meaningful and frankly, once you’ve tasted the authentic stuff and know what it has the potential to be, it’s hard to go back. Thank you for sharing the method and tips with us – this does sound worth the extra effort! Looking forward to your other unplugged pumpkin recipes Sally ;-).


  6. It’s so hard to find pumpkins that big around here which is why I rarely make my own puree! Maybe I just need to head out to a farm next fall to pick some up! Great idea.


    • Both in OK and KS those are everywhere. We get them straight from farmers, as we do watermelons. Phil always ends up friends with the best watermelon grower anywhere we live…. 🙂


  7. I am just giggling about the freezer turning into an unknown and mysterious universe! That defines my freezer. 😉 I loved this post Sally. You made this process seem so manageable. I love the step-by-step photos. Now I’m going to have to look into getting a potato ricer. Don’t have one of those. Very clever. I haven’t seen pumpkin in the stores in a while though. It’s a shame, because I’ve been missing it. Pass along my thanks to Phil and his family for the recipe too.


    • The potato ricer is a very useful gadget, ours has three disks with different sizes of holes, and I end up using only the middle one all the time. 🙂 I used to have a fancy food mill, those that you turn around. It did not “make the cut’ and was donated during our move. Smaller kitchen, not much storage, you see how it goes.


  8. I love making my own pumpkin puree and looking at the finished product does make you feel good about yourself 🙂
    I loved the comment about the freezer turning into a mysterious parallel universe! I know that only too well
    Looking forward to your upcoming posts


  9. How fun to be reminded of how my parents used to grow pumpkins and make their own puree.

    Here in Ohio grocers and farm markets sell medium sized pumpkins that are very heavy for their size and are called pie pumpkins. Maybe we will experiment and give this a try next autumn.


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