I didn’t realize how much I loved Libby that is Libby’s Pumpkin Puree, until I moved to a place where they don’t sell it. They also don’t sell pumpkin spice here so I have faithfully packed these two Fall favorite ingredients into my suitcase along with corn tortillas, reeces pieces, Sun chips….. for years but now I ran out. So that leaves me with no other option than to make my own.
I come from a family that ate pumpkin pie every Sunday. Well, every Sunday in the Fall. My father would pick one up and we would enjoy it all week. So pumpkin pie is very dear to me and not being able to buy one or make one here, was totally unacceptable. Then one day it dawned on me, I can make pumpkin puree and pumpkins spice from scratch!
Then I felt that daunting feeling of, what are you thinking.
I am so glad I tried making it because it’s really easy. I personally can’t taste the difference when I use my pumpkin puree from scratch in recipes vs the canned pumpkin puree.
Your kids will want to help you gut the pumpkin, especially if they are into all things gooey and slimy. You can even if have fun with this before cutting it up. Ask your child if he thinks the pumpkin will sink or float. I share here or sink or float experiment I did with the kids. I loved doing this with kids when I taught preschool, we would chart the responses and then I would show them the experiment. I won’t tell you the outcome, so you can do it yourself.
Okay, back to the pumpkin puree from scratch, don’t feel intimidated by the ginormous pumpkin on your counter, it’s really easy. You can do it!
Make sure to choose a pie pumpkin (it’s smaller) not a jack o lantern pumpkin or you can use “zapallo” that’s what they call pumpkins here in Ecuador. In Mexico, we call them calabazas but some market vendors in Ecuador seem to use both words interchangeably.
Homemade Pumpkin Puree
1. Cut the pumpkin in half and then in fours and clean out guts.
2. Then cut the pumpkin into chunks
3. Cook the pumpkin using one of the following ways:
- Steam: Put water in saucepan just below the vegetable steamer basket. Place pumpkin cubes on veggie steamer. Steam for 10-15min. Just until tender. Remove the skin.
- Roasting: Line a sheet pan with foil and place pumpkin chunks on it. Set oven at 400 ° oven for 45-60 minutes or until it’s fork tender and remove the skin.
- Crockpot– I show you HERE how easy it is to use the crockpot! It’s my new preferred way.
4. Puree in blender until smooth! My preferred way is roasting when I am baking with it, even though it takes longer. I am never sure how much water the pumpkin has absorbed or will drain in the cooking process and I don’t want it to mess with the consistency of my baked goods so that is why I prefer to roast. If you steam it, you can just drain some of the liquid off in a sieve.