It is convenient, consistent, and delicious, but canned pumpkin purée doesn’t hold a candle to homemade.
Set aside a little extra time to prepare your own version of pumpkin purée and you’ll be deeply satisfied with the results, adding more of an authentic touch to homemade pumpkin pie and all the other pumpkin-filled fall and winter dishes.
Did you know that almost all canned pumpkin mixes are not entirely made of pumpkin, even if they are labeled as such? Turns out, the FDA is lenient when it comes to squash terminology, so it is completely legal for canned pumpkin puree brands to call their products “100% pure pumpkin”, when they may be just a mixture of other winter squash varieties (good in their own right, but still, where’s the pumpkin?). That’s right, most canned pumpkin puree blends don’t have an ounce of pumpkin in them!
For the purists out there, make your own pumpkin purée and avoid the confusion. You avoid not only the can, but also the squash. This homemade pumpkin purée recipe is as pure and straightforward as it gets.
Homemade Pumpkin Puree Recipe
Makes about 2 cups
- 1 three-pound whole sugar pumpkin
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Wash the pumpkin, scrubbing off any dirt or debris. Cut off the stem and slice the pumpkin in half along the top where the stem once was.
Use a spoon to remove all the seeds and excess stringiness.
Place the pumpkin halves cut-side down on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, or until the skin has darkened and the pumpkin flesh is tender throughout.
Use a large spoon to scoop the pumpkin flesh out of its skin. Transfer the pumpkin to a food processor and blend until smooth. Store the pumpkin in an airtight container in the refrigerator prior to using.