Fresh pumpkin purée makes an incredible pie, and it’s something you can do well ahead of time, when you have the oven space. It’s so easy, you may never go back to canned pumpkin.

Fresh pumpkin puree in a bowl.

Every fall, smaller pie pumpkins start popping up in markets. Next time you see them, grab a few and turn them into fresh purée for Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Bars, or any pumpkin recipe you happen to have. The purée freezes beautifully, too.

Table of Contents
  1. Ingredient notes
  2. Step-by-step instructions
  3. Recipe tips and variations
  4. Fresh Pumpkin Purée Recipe

Ingredient notes

  • Pie pumpkins: Smaller than a standard carving pumpkin, these cuties are also known as sugar pumpkins. Specific varieties include: Baby Pam, Ghost Rider, Autumn Gold, New England, Cinderella, and Fairy Tale. They’re grown specifically for cooking, so the flesh is denser, more plentiful, and less stringy than a jack-o-lantern pumpkin. Don’t confuse the pie pumpkins with the tiny gourd pumpkins, though (those can’t be turned into purée).

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut pumpkin in half and remove seeds by combing through the fibrous strings with your fingers.
A pumpkin cut in half on a cutting board.
  1. Scrape out and discard fibrous strings. If you want to save and roast the pumpkin seeds, rinse them in cold water and dry on a kitchen towel.
Pumpkin puree in a clear bowl next to pumpkin seeds in a clear bowl.
  1. Cut pumpkin into quarters (5 or 6 inches wide each). Place pieces skin-side down on prepared baking sheet and roast uncovered until tender, about 1 to 1-½ hours.
Fresh pumpkin roasted on a baking sheet.
  1. Remove from oven and cool completely. Scrape pumpkin pulp off skin, discarding the skin.
Roasted pumpkin flesh separated from the skin.
  1. Add the pulp to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Place pumpkin puree into a cheesecloth-lined sieve, and allow to drain for 60 minutes. Discard liquid.
Fresh pumpkin puree draining in cheesecloth.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: One fresh (3-pound) pumpkin makes about 2 cups of pumpkin puree, as much as one (15-ounce) can from the store.
  • Storage: Store fresh purée in the refrigerator and use within 1 week.
  • Freezer: Scoop into a freezer bag or glass jars (leave ½ inch head space for expansion), label, date, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Other squashes: Use this technique on other squash, too: Hubbard, Kabocha, butternut, or acorn. Canned pumpkin is actually made from Dickinson squash because it tastes like pumpkin.
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds: If you saved your seeds for roasting, toss the clean, dry seeds with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Roast on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, stirring often.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

My best Pumpkin Cheesecake features a graham cracker crust topped with a rich, creamy, and warmly-spiced cheesecake filling. Master how to make cheesecake from scratch for Thanksgiving (or any day).

2 hours 25 minutes
View Recipe

Put your pumpkin to work

Fresh pumpkin puree in a bowl.

Fresh Pumpkin Purée

Fresh pumpkin purée makes an incredible pie, and it's something you can do well ahead of time, when you have the oven space. It's so easy, you may never go back to canned pumpkin.
5 from 2 votes
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Servings 4 servings
Course Pantry
Cuisine American
Calories 88

Ingredients 

  • 1 (3 pound) pie pumpkin scrubbed well (see note 1)

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut pumpkin in half and remove seeds by combing through the fibrous strings with your fingers.
  • Scrape out and discard fibrous strings. If you want to save and roast the pumpkin seeds, rinse them in cold water and dry on a kitchen towel.
  • Cut pumpkin into quarters (5 or 6 inches wide each). Place pieces skin-side down on prepared baking sheet and roast uncovered until tender, about 1 to 1-½ hours.
  • Remove from oven and cool completely. Scrape pumpkin pulp off skin, discarding the skin.
  • Add the pulp to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Place pumpkin puree into a cheesecloth-lined sieve, and allow to drain for 60 minutes. Discard liquid.

Notes

  1. Pie pumpkins: Smaller than a standard carving pumpkin, these cuties are also known as sugar pumpkins. Specific varieties include: Baby Pam, Ghost Rider, Autumn Gold, New England, Cinderella, and Fairy Tale. They’re grown specifically for cooking, so the flesh is denser, more plentiful, and less stringy than a jack-o-lantern pumpkin. Don’t confuse the pie pumpkins with the tiny gourd pumpkins, though (those can’t be turned into purée).
  2. Yield: One fresh (3-pound) pumpkin makes about 2 cups of pumpkin puree, as much as one (15-ounce) can from the store.
  3. Storage: Store fresh purée in the refrigerator and use within 1 week.
  4. Freezer: Scoop into a freezer bag or glass jars (leave ½ inch head space for expansion), label, date, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  5. Other squashes: Use this technique on other squash, too: Hubbard, Kabocha, butternut, or acorn. Canned pumpkin is actually made from Dickinson squash because it tastes like pumpkin.
  6. Roasted pumpkin seeds: If you saved your seeds for roasting, toss the clean, dry seeds with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Roast on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, stirring often.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 88kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 3gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 3mgPotassium: 1157mgFiber: 2gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 28961IUVitamin C: 31mgCalcium: 71mgIron: 3mg
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