Pumpkin Puree Recipe
Here is a basic pumpkin puree recipe that can be used to make all sorts of squash purees. I
developed the technique for making my own pumpkin puree because canned pumpkin was an ingredient I found unavailable in France when I moved here. The puree can be used in any recipe that calls for canned pumpkin.
Slicing Pumpkin and Other Squash
This is the hardest part of making your own squash purees. Be sure you use a very sharp and large knife. What you want to avoid is getting the knife stuck in the middle of the pumpkin or squash. If you do, be very careful getting it out - take your time and think about what you are doing. Lots of times it helps to slice the ends off of large squash. You can then balance the squash on the sliced end and cut down through the side.
It is a bit disappointing how little puree you end up with, but please do not let that stop you. Every two pounds of pumpkin (before slicing and cooking) will give approximately 1 cup of strained puree. Drier squashes, such
as butternut, will give higher yields. Also if you are using the puree to make a soup, there is no reason to strain it so you will end up with more puree.
This pumpkin puree recipe can be made ahead of time and stored it in the refrigerator for three days in a covered container. You can freeze the puree for up to six months in a plastic container or freezer bag. Sometimes the puree separates further with freezing and thawing and then the only thing to do is strain it again, so you'll end up with less than you thought you had.
Replacing canned puree with homemade will result in more flavorful recipes, making it well worth the little effort it takes to make your own. Try it, for example, in this pumpkin souffle recipe
Looking for more ways to enjoy winter squash? Try this delicious butternut squash soup recipe
Find more winter squash recipes
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