Learn how to make pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie from scratch!
A few years ago, I was part of a fresh produce co-op in San Antonio. The week before Thanksgiving, my delivery included a couple of pie pumpkins. Now mind you, I don’t think I had ever made a pumpkin pie, even from a can. The local grocery store, sold delicious pies, and that’s where mine came from. But I’m always up for a challenge, plus I hate to waste food. So I decided to conquer the pumpkins and make a pie from scratch. On Thanksgiving Day, about 4:30 a.m. Yes, a little crazy. BUT… later that day, we did a taste test between my scratch pumpkin pie and the H-E-B pie. Mine won, hands down.
Fast forward five years. I’m at my CrossFit box this week and see a shelf full of pie pumpkins (I have no idea why they were there!) But they were beckoning me to the challenge once again. I brought them home to make pumpkin puree from scratch. I’ll use the puree next week in my Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, and I’ll have some more that I’ll use what is left to make pumpkin bread. Yummmmmm. Fresh pumpkin puree!
First, cut the tops off the little guys. The skin is pretty tough so make sure your knife is sharp!
Next, you’ll cut each pumpkin in half.
Now it’s time to scoop out all the stringy goop and seeds. A big spoon works well. It’s a little easier said than done, I’ll admit!
Try to get as much of the stringy stuff as possible, but you don’t have to get it perfect. Repeat until you’ve removed all the guts from the pumpkins.
Don’t throw away the seeds! They will be great for toasting later, and here’s how you do it.
Cut the pumpkin halves in half, lengthwise, once again. At about this point, I decided to cook two instead of all four for now because of space. Cook them on a baking sheet at 350 for about 45 minutes to an hour.
You will know they are done when the pumpkin is tender when pierced with a fork.
Next you will need to scoop out the flesh. I found it easier to use a knife to scrape the flesh from the skin.
You will have a nice big pile of pumpkin!
I mashed it up with a potato masher and then put small batches of it in my Nutribullet (the one kitchen gadget I don’t know what I’d do without!)
It seemed a bit dry, so I added a little water to each batch… about a tablespoon worth. I pureed some of the pumpkin in the Nutribullet and the rest in my mini chopper.
In all honesty, the next time I make pumpkin puree, I’ll be sure to have a regular food processor! This was a wee bit tedious to say the least. But worth it! Here’s what I ended up with.
Fresh and deliciously creamy homemade pumpkin puree. All ready to use in my Thanksgiving pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread next week! Since Thanksgiving is still several days away, I scooped my puree into some freezer bags for now. I’ll defrost and cook on Tuesday.
Here’s the recipe:
- 2 cups fresh pumpkin puree
- 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
- 3 eggs
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg, if desired
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves, if desired
- 1 (9 inch) deep dish pie shell
- Combine sugar, salt, spices and eggs in a large bowl
- Add puree and milk, then combine thoroughly
- Pour into pie shell
- Place foil around the edges of the crust
- Place pie on foil-lined, cookie sheet
- Bake 350°F for 50-60 minutes.
- Give knife clean test.
- If not clean, bake a bit longer.
Here are a few items that will help you make and serve the perfect pumpkin pie!
Have you ever made homemade pumpkin puree? I’m curious… do you think it’s worth the effort? I, for one, say YES!
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