Making Pumpkin Puree and Some Well-Tested Recipes

This post is linked to Newlyweds Blog Pumpkin Linkup.

So here I am very, very late in the second day of my Pumpkin Pie Plus … series, without the recipe I’d planned. Let’s just say that sometimes spur-of-the-moment recipe series don’t always go well because recipes don’t always work out. If you “like” gfe on Facebook, you already know the story. So, I’m moving on to Plan B and sharing some different ways to cook pumpkin and make your own pumpkin puree. These same methods can be used to bake or roast squash.

Ali (Nourishing Meals) likes to bake her pumpkin after cutting it into pieces and removing pulp and seeds.  You can read and see her tutorial here. Ali has many pumpkin recipes, but her Pumpkin Spice Cake is especially lovely.

Amy (Simply Sugar & Gluten Free) often cooks her pumpkin in halves in water in the oven. However, if her oven is needed or she wants a cool kitchen, she likes cooking squash whole in her slow cooker. She also uses her slow cooker to make Pumpkin Pie Pudding.

Elana (Elana’s Pantry) cuts her pumpkins in half, removes pulp and seeds, and bakes them in a little water. Her  10-step pumpkin instructions are here. Elana’s latest recipe is Pumpkin Bars!

Kelly (The Spunky Coconut) bakes her pumpkin and squash whole in the oven (no poking or cutting) with no water added. I just used Kelly’s method and the pumpkins above are a great example of how beautiful whole baked pumpkins are. (Yes, that is the same photo that I am using for my series badge, shown below.) Previously (for many years), I subscribed to the cut, remove pulp and seeds, cut into chunks, and cover with some water school of thought. Now I think I’m sticking with this method. Check out Kelly’s grain-free pumpkin pancakes.

Do you have a favorite way of cooking pumpkin or squash to make puree or otherwise? Let us know, or maybe find a method above that will work best for you. Badge for Pumpkin Series

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18 Responses to “Making Pumpkin Puree and Some Well-Tested Recipes”

  1. Ellen @ I Am Gluten Free on October 27th, 2010 12:11 am

    I love roasting my squash. My new fave is Blue Hubbard Squash. I cut it in half with a serrated knife (though afterwards, I wondered whether it would be easier to cut the squash with an electric knife), scoop out the seeds, add a bit of OJ and honey or agave, and bake until soft. Delicious!

    • Shirley on October 27th, 2010 10:19 am

      Hi Ellen–I’ve seen Hubbard Squash, but am not familiar with Blue Hubbard. I like the sound of it AND your wonderful method and recipe. Total yum …. thanks so much for sharing! :-)


  2. Katrina (gluten free gidget) on October 27th, 2010 7:24 am

    I’ve had success with my crock pot. Jut put the whole pumpkin in a crock pot with about 1 1/2 cups water and cook on low about 8-9 hours. Voila!

    • Shirley on October 27th, 2010 10:22 am

      Hi Katrina–Great to see you! :-) I’m trying the crockpot method next. I have two sugar pumpkins ready to be cooked. Wonder if I can fit both in my large crock pot? Hmmm …

      Thanks for giving the specifics on your method!

  3. Carol, Simply...Gluten-free on October 27th, 2010 7:51 am

    I like roasting pumpkins and squash whole in the oven, easy peasy! But to be very honest I usually just buy organic pumpkin puree in a can – even easier :) I know what you mean about recipes not always working out – boy do I! That’s ok, I believe we learn more from our failures than our triumphs.

    • Shirley on October 27th, 2010 10:28 am

      Hi Carol–Remember I live in the boonies with the bare bones grocery store? I might be able to find organic pumpkin at the upscale store in town, but I don’t go there much. I rather like the process of roasting pumpkins and squash though. It slows me down in a good way, but some weeks a pantry full of organic pumpkin puree would be good!

      What I learned from these two failures was to trust my instincts. I didn’t think the first one would taste good based on the ingredients and I didn’t think the second one would work with the dairy-free version of an ingredient, but I forged ahead anyway. Wonderful pumpkin puree and other ingredients totally wasted. Usually I can salvage failures for cookie crumb pie crusts or something, but both recipes were too wet to salvage. I even tried drying one out for hours in the oven. Still horrid. Bummer.

      Thanks for the tips and encouragement! :-) Hugs,


  4. Kelly on October 27th, 2010 1:29 pm

    Thanks girl! I shared on Spunky FB :-)

    • Shirley on October 28th, 2010 10:03 am

      Hi Kelly–Happy to spread good and easy ways to do things, which is always the case when I’m sharing something from you! :-) Thanks for sharing the post with your FB fans!


  5. Pat @ Elegantly Gluten-Free on October 27th, 2010 1:38 pm

    My personal favorite for cooking pumpkins and squashes (especially large squashes) is to cook them whole, like Kelly at The Spunky Coconut. It’s great to avoid the struggle of cutting a stubborn, tough-skinned pumpkin when, in the next step, it’ll be tender and compliant.

    • Shirley on October 28th, 2010 10:04 am

      Hi Pat–Great point and I like the way you put it, too! “Tender and compliant” … that’s the way I want all my pumpkins and squash to be. ;-)


  6. Tia on October 27th, 2010 4:01 pm

    So, I am catching myself up on commenting on your posts, here. But, I have been reading. So, I am excited to try your pumpkin smoothie. I think I will forgo the whip cream, though. I just like pumpkin. :)

    As far as this post, I have been toying with the idea of making my own pumpkin puree. (Who the heck am I turning into?) I like the idea of the slow cooker. Going to try that. Thanks, Katrina.

    But, my question is: How do Istore pumpkin puree once I make it. Do I can it (in a jar)? Do I hot water bathe it to seal it once I’m done? Or just screw the lid on? How long does it last? I would rather ask you than google because I trust you more. ;)


    • Shirley on October 28th, 2010 10:23 am

      Hi Tia–The smoothie is great, even without the whipped cream, so no worries there. ;-)

      Good news, dear … no canning needed on the pumpkin puree! You can store it in your refrigerator for up to a week or you can freeze for several months. I have used plastic tubs for short term, in the fridge, and glass jars (just saved from other stuff) for freezing. In the past, I used ziploc bags for freezer storage, too. I try to put 2 cups in each container. It’s all super easy. Do it! You’ll love the real pumpkin flavor … mild and sweet. Just lovely.


  7. Chelsey on October 28th, 2010 11:19 am

    Great way to share the multitude of ways to cook pumpkin. Just a word of wisdom though…a couple years ago I decided to cook my own pumpkin And purée it for a pie…little did I know that fresh pumpkin purée has a lot more liquid in it than the more commonly found pumpkin from a can. I bake my pie and it took two hours to bake and set! It still tasted great, but that how long it took for the extra liquid to evaporate. So, depending on the recipe fresh vs. canned can really impact the composition of a recipe…but then again you can just cook it longer and in theory no harm will be done!

    • Shirley on October 29th, 2010 8:12 am

      Hi Chelsey–Yes, homemade pumpkin puree can have a higher water content, especially if the pumpkin is covered with water. The individual posts do address that some. If I use water, I drain off and sponge off water, plus I’ve left the pumpkin in my refrigerator overnight so that it removes the extra moisture for me. That works well. At worst case, I’ve had to bake my pumpkin goodies just a tad longer and sometimes I’ve even skipped the other liquid in the recipe if my pumpkin is super watery and I don’t want to do my “fixes.”

      All that said, I know that Ali and Kelly’s methods use no water and provide a consistency and moisture content closer to the canned pumpkin. So you might want to read their guidance before your next homemade puree event. We all live and learn, right? I bet that pie tasted really, really good after waiting 2 hours for it! ;-) Thanks for sharing, dear!


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