October 30th, 2012 by

Pumpkin Puree and Pumpkin Spice: How to Make from Scratch

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 them into my suitcase along with corn tortillas, reeces pieces, Sun chips….. for years.

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 was totally unacceptable. Then one day it dawned on me, I can make pumpkin puree and pumpkins spice from scratch!  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 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 squash (they call it zapallo here).

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

1. Cut in half and then in fours and clean out guts.

2. Then cut the pumpkin into chunks

3. Cook 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.

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.

Homemade Pumpkin Spice

3 tablespoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons nutmeg

1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice

1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves

Combine all of the above ingredients. Yields a little under 1/2 a cup.

Now you’re set to enjoy your favorite Fall recipes! Note if a recipe calls for canned pumpkin PIE puree you will need to add pumpkin spice to the above recipe. If it calls for pumpkin puree then just use it as is.

Here are some of my favorite:

Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Pumpkin Apple Bread

Lovely image above via Cookstr

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