How To Make Pumpkin Puree
Let's learn how to make pumpkin puree from scratch so you can use this popular ingredient in all sorts of really easy recipes, from desserts to cakes to pies. We'll use in our example a butternut squash mainly because it is smaller in size and easier to handle.
The proportions generally are: 1 pound / 500 grams of fresh pumpkin will produce 1 cup of puree.
Pumpkin is such a hard fruit and smaller sized fruit makes handling simpler and quicker. I've found butternut squash has a sweeter and subtler flavor.
Here's How To Make Pumpkin Puree From Scratch
Step 1: Trim
The first thing to do is to remove the skin and the seeds. You do this by using a sharp and heavy good quality knife to remove the tops and tails of the fruit, as in the picture.
Prepare by trimming it of the outer skin. The easy way to do this is to firstly cut it into manageable chunks, using a heavy knife.
Now, that it is in manageable sizes, remove the tough skin by slicing it off.
Remove the seeds.
Rinse the trimmed and de-seeded chunks of pumpkin and chop them into smaller pieces.
Step 2: Stew
Pop them into a saucepan.
If this pumpkin puree is to in a savory recipe, boil the pumpkin pieces in generously salted water. Add salt to suit your taste.
If it is to go in sweet pies, cakes or desserts or any recipe that is sweet, add sugar generously.
Add 2 heaped tablespoons of sugar to stew 1 to 1 1/2 pounds (500 to 700 grams) of fresh pumpkin.
The liquid should come to about 1/2 to 3/4 level of the cut up squash, but the amount will vary depending on the ripeness and variety of the pumpkin. Take care that the squash does not boil dry. You also don't want to have too much water as this dilutes the seasoning/ level of sweetness.
Stew until the fruit is very tender and easily broken up with a fork.
Step 3: Drain and Mash
Once cooked, drain away all the liquid. You don't want the fruit getting soggy in excess liquid, so use a colander to drain the stewed fruit. Sit the colander to drain over the saucepan or in the sink so that the surplus liquid drains away without making a mess on the counter-top.
Decant the stewed fruit into a bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher. It is so soft and tender it mashes easily.
A fork is a terrific tool when there's just a small amount to puree, but for large quantities, using a hand held blender makes for easier work.
Here it is, one cup of pumpkin puree made from 1 pound or 500 grams of fresh pumpkin.
Enjoy this pumpkin puree in all sorts of easy recipes. Here is a guide to the seasoning when boiling the pumpkin for puree:
- baby food - don't add any seasoning. The natural flavor is just perfect for baby
- cheesecakes - stew in sugared water
- sweet pies and desserts - stew in sugared water
- savory pies and appetizers - cook in well salted water
- cakes - stew in sugared water
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