Homemade Pumpkin Pureé
Nothing says “Happy Fall!” quite like the arrival of pumpkins at my local grocery store, with pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread and pumpkin bars not too far behind. And while store-bought pumpkin purée is fine in a pinch, this year I’m going the DIY route with a simple, foolproof recipe for Homemade Pumpkin Purée.
It’s important to note that homemade pumpkin purée has a looser consistency than the store-bought pumpkin purée you’ll find at your local supermarket. So while you can use it in baked goods, it may slightly alter the texture. I use homemade pumpkin purée when making pumpkin ice cream and pumpkin mousse, and this recipe is also a great alternative to store-bought pumpkin-flavoured baby food.
The smaller variety of pumpkins known as Sugar Pumpkins (often times also referred to as Sugar Pie Pumpkins) are the best for making homemade pumpkin purée. The bigger pumpkins, which are great for jack-o-lanterns, will not yield the same creamy, rich purée as Sugar Pumpkins.
Begin by cutting a Sugar Pumpkin in half (from stem to root) using a KitchenAid® Chef’s Knife. If the pumpkin is especially firm, you can also use a serrated knife to better grip the exterior of the pumpkin and slice through it.
Once you’ve halved the pumpkin, use a large spoon to scoop out the stringy innards and all of the seeds. You can discard the seeds or save them and roast them for a salty snack or salad topper.
Next, preheat your oven to 400ºF and place the two pumpkin halves cut side down in a KitchenAid®Nesting Ceramic Set. Cover the pan tightly with foil then place it in the oven for about 1 hour.
Remove the pan from the oven and check to see if the pumpkin is tender by piercing the flesh with a knife. If it’s not tender, return the pumpkin to the oven. If it is tender, use a large spoon to carefully scoop the hot flesh into the bowl of a KitchenAid® Pro Line® Series Food Processor.
Process the pumpkin until it is smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the food processor as needed. It’s important not to over-process the purée or it will become too loose.
And that’s all there is to it! You can season the puréed pumpkin with nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and cloves to transform it into pumpkin pie filling or you can leave it plain and use it as desired for all of your holiday cooking and baking needs.