Choosing Pie Pumpkins & Recipe for Pumpkin Puree for baking

You can pick up your fresh pie pumpkins & squash this Saturday at Carousel Watergardens Farm Market Day this Saturday Nov. 14th, in the parking lot of the Glenwood United Methodist Church from 10 am -1pm at 2833 Valleyview Dr, Columbus, OH. 43204. Located at the corner of Hague & Valleyview Drive. Just look for our big gray heated market trailer, and come on inside to shop. For more details go to

Baking with Fresh Pumpkin

Text Box:   Big pumpkins, small pumpkins, white pumpkins, Cinderella pumpkins: what’s best for baking?

Smaller is Better– Choose sugar pie pumpkins or other flavorful varieties. Small and sweet, with dark orange-colored flesh, they’re perfect for pies, soups, muffins and breads.

A medium-sized (4-pound) sugar pumpkin should yield around 1½ cups of mashed pumpkin. This puree can be used in all your recipes calling for canned pumpkin.

Field pumpkins, which are bred for perfect jack-o’-lanterns, tend to be too large and stringy for baking.

Choose Your Method

There are three ways to transform an uncooked pumpkin into the puree used in baking:

Baking Method  Cut the pumpkin in half and discard the stem section and stringy pulp. Save the seeds to dry and roast In a shallow baking dish, place the two halves face down and cover with foil. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oven for about 1½ hours for a medium-sized sugar pumpkin, or until tender. Once the baked pumpkin has cooled, scoop out the flesh and puree or mash it.

For silky smooth custards or soups, press the pumpkin puree through a sieve

Boiling Method

Cut the pumpkin in half, discarding the stringy insides

Peel the pumpkin and cut it into chunks. Place in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until the pumpkin chunks are tender. Let the chunks cool, and then puree the flesh in a food processor or mash it with a potato masher or food mill.

Microwave Method

    Cut the pumpkin in half, discarding the stringy insides. Microwave on high power for seven minutes per pound, turning pieces every few minutes to promote even cooking. Process as above.

    You can refrigerate your fresh pumpkin puree for up to three days, or store it in the freezer up to a year, enabling you to enjoy fall pumpkins for months to come.

Recipe for making Pumpkin Puree for Baking:

Making Pie Pumpkin Puree

Fall is the season when those beautiful pie pumpkins come on and there is nothing any better than making your own puree with fresh pumpkin for baking all those wonderful fall recipes.


1 pie pumpkin or as many as you want to make into puree

Prep    30 minutes    Cook 1 hour    Ready in 1 hr. 30 min.

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Cut the pumpkin in half, stem to base. Remove seeds and stringy pulp. Cover each half with foil.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven, foil side up, 1 hour, or until tender.
  4. Scrape pumpkin meat from shell halves and puree in a blender. Strain to remove any remaining stringy pieces.
  5. Store in the freezer in freezer safe bags.

Note: Size of pumpkin determines how much puree you will get but you can do several pumpkins at a time and put the pumpkin meat in the blender to puree. Then dish out in one cup increments into freezer bags. That way it is pre measured for baking needs. Pumpkin will store for up to a year if kept frozen.

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