From home-baked pies to comforting soups to rich PSLs, pumpkin purée is a necessity in autumnal baking and cooking. As soon as October hits, many of us rush to the grocery store to stock up on cans of the orange, silky stuff.
But many major canned pumpkin companies don't use actual pumpkin in their product — we know, shocking. We'll give you a minute.
Instead, popular brands such as Libby's use a type of squash that evokes a similar flavor to pumpkin: Dickinson squash. And while it shares a family with our beloved orange friend, something about a Dickinson squash spice latte doesn't have quite the same ring to it.
But not to worry — if you want authentic pumpkin flavor without the can of imitation (albeit still delicious) squash, the road to get there is not at all complicated. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to purée your own sugar pie pumpkin, and as a bonus, find out how to roast the seeds.
Pumpkin Purée and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Prep Time:20 mins
- Cook Time:50 mins
- Total Time:1 hr 10 mins
- 1 sugar pie pumpkin roughly 2-3 lbs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Select your pumpkin. Most grocery stores have baking pumpkins in the produce section.
#SpoonTip: Sugar pie pumpkins are a great choice for purée because they yield the most flavor. Steer clear of the big pumpkins you would carve for Halloween, as they are more bitter.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Using a serrated knife, cut the top off of the pumpkin.
Carefully slice pumpkin in half.
#SpoonTip: Placing the pumpkin on it's head while you slice will give you more control, as the stem is now removed and the top should be flat.
Scoop guts and seeds out of each half with a spoon.
#SpoonTip: You may need to get in there with your hands to grab the really stubborn seeds.
Continue scraping with the spoon until the inside is smooth and free of innards.
#SpoonTip: DO NOT throw away the innards just yet. Pumpkin seeds can be roasted for a healthy and delicious snack.
Place pumpkin halves face-down on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
Bake for 50 minutes or until a knife easily slides in and out of the meat of the pumpkin.
#SpoonTip: Look for the same feeling as when you test the doneness of a potato.
While the pumpkin is in the oven, separate the pumpkin guts from the seeds.
Rinse seeds and pat dry with a paper towel.
Coat seeds in olive oil.
Sprinkle to your liking with salt and pepper.
Spread seeds evenly across an uncreased cookie sheet.
Bake at 350°F for 30 to 45 minutes until golden, turning occasionally.
When the pumpkin has cooled completely, cut into quarters and remove skin.
Place chunks of pumpkin meat into a food processor, a little at a time.
Blend in batches until smooth.
#SpoonTip: If purée is not blending smoothly, gradually add water and continue to blend.
Store purée in mason jars or tupperware in the fridge until ready to use in pancakes, pies, lattes and more.
#SpoonTip: If you can't use it all within a week, it will live happily in freezer bags for 8 months. Defrost and add to recipes as usual.
So this fall, skip the canned food aisle, head for the produce section and make this simple yet delicious purée at home — your Thanksgiving guests will thank you.
We win this round, Libby's.