November 9, 2018

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Homemade Pumpkin Puree: simple and easy way to make applesauce-consistency fresh pumpkin puree to store in refrigerator for short period of time or freeze for up to a year. Pumpkin puree can be used in many different desserts and meals and the taste is always delightful!

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Homemade Pumpkin Puree: simple and easy way to have light in texture and fresh pumpkin puree. | olgainthekitchen.com

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Homemade Pumpkin Puree Recipe:

Making homemade pumpkin puree is extremely easy! The texture is applesauce-consistency and the color of puree is very light and bright orange. While most people like to use the baking method, my family had always used the stovetop method to can in glass jars and keep these in the refrigerator for up to 3 months without it going bad. For longer storage, we freeze it for up to 1 year.

We boil the puree twice to remove all the bacteria from the puree and puree stays fresh in sterilized glass jars for up to 3 months in refrigerator. Just the perfect amount to enjoy pumpkin bread through the winter.

I also think that with boiling method, the puree turns out very soft, like a very thin applesauce and you don’t get that with the baking method. It’s very easy to put the pumpkin puree into jars as the texture is not as thick as store-bought and it covers every bit of space in the jar. 

We don’t celebrate Halloween, but I love fall and it’s my favorite season of the year because of its colorful beauty outside of my window and the crisp air. I also love baking with pumpkins probably more than most people all-year-long.

Pumpkin Puree for Pumpkin Bread:

My mom’s famous Ukrainian Pumpkin Bread is the main reason I started canning pumpkin puree. We all absolutely love this bread and mom makes it for us for major holidays every year. She would make a round giant loaf for every child and it’s the traditional she continues and we love.

This bread does not work with store-bought canned pumpkin so homemade pumpkin puree is a must! With homemade pumpkin puree, pumpkin bread turns out light and fluffy, with a light yellow-dish color, while it’s everything the opposite if using store-bought puree.

Storing Pumpkin Puree

There are few ways to store pumpkin puree for fresh and safe usage later. Opened jars would be used within a week. Canned twice-boiled pumpkin puree in sterilized jars can be stored in refrigerator for up to 3 months.

To freeze pumpkin puree, I do one cup in a small freezer bag and freeze up to a year. The homemade pumpkin puree is more watery than the puree you buy from store, but it works great in recipes calling for homemade pumpkin puree, even if there’s a bit extra water after thawing the puree.

Pumpkin Puree Ingredients:

  • Pumpkin (any size, I used about 14”)
  • Water (cold, warm or hot)

How to Make Pumpkin Puree:

1. Wash the pumpkin with warm water and use sponge if needed to get any dirt off (you don’t want the dirt accidentally getting into puree). Using a sharp knife, cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and scrape out the pumpkin pulp. (Keep the seeds refrigerated until you’re ready to toast them!)

Cut the pumpkin into any smaller sizes, cubes or rectangles, peel with a thin knife, cut into 2” cubes and add to a large pot. Add cold, warm or hot water about 2” below pumpkin cubes – it doesn’t have to cover all the pumpkin. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, lower the heat to low and cook for 1 hour or until you can easily pierce the pumpkin cubes with a fork. 

How to Sterilize Jars and Lids:

2. While pumpkin is cooking, preheat the oven to a 215°F. Wash jars and lids with a warm soapy water. Place the jars into the oven on the center rack upside down and dry them for 20 mins or until completely dry (20 mins always works for me). Remove hot jars with pot holders onto kitchen towel – keep them upside down to prevent any lint from getting inside the jars. Boil lids in a medium pot for 4-5 mins. Drain the water and transfer hot lids to a kitchen towel to dry while pumpkin is cooking.

3. Once pumpkin is cooked, drain most water (water will keep running little by little, but drain the huge flow) and set the pumpkin to cool a bit so you don’t blunt the blender knives. Once cooled, using a blender or a food processor, puree the cooked pumpkin in batches until applesauce consistency (1-2 mins in blender worked great). Remove any remaining water from the pot and pour the pureed pumpkin back into the pot. Do it fast to avoid major splashing. Bring the pumpkin puree to a boil over low heat (#4 on my cook-top) and cook/boil for another 10-15 mins. (Puree will start boiling almost right away, but the way to know when it’s really boiling is when the puree has huge bubbles, the top of the lid is all splashed up and the pot is really hot).

Spoon pumpkin puree into jars. Wipe the rim with a paper towel to make sure it’s free of any puree and tightly close each jar right away (but not too tight that the jar can’t handle). 

4. Cover jars with couple kitchen towels until completely cooled – it might take a day. Pumpkin puree can be used right away, stored in refrigerator for up to 3 months or in the freezer for up to a year.

More Tips from Olga:

Making and Canning Homemade Pumpkin Puree

5 from 13 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

Homemade Pumpkin Puree: simple and easy way to have light in texture and fresh pumpkin puree.

Ingredients

  • pumpkin any size, I used about 14”
  • water cold, warm or hot

Instructions

  1. Wash the pumpkin with warm water and use sponge if needed to get any dirt off (you don’t want the dirt accidently getting into puree).

  2. Using a sharp knife, cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and scrape out the pumpkin pulp. (Keep the seeds refrigerated until you’re ready to toast them!)

  3. Cut the pumpkin into any smaller sizes, cubes or rectangles, peel with a thin knife, cut into 2” cubes and add to a large pot. (You might need couple pots.) Add cold, warm or hot water (cold will take longer to get to a boil) about 2” below pumpkin cubes – it doesn’t have to cover all the pumpkin.

  4. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, lower the heat to low and cook for 1 hour or until you can easily pierce the pumpkin cubes with a fork. (prolonged cooking will remove bacteria, if any, for prolonged storage)

  5. STERILIZING JARS and LIDS: While pumpkin is cooking, preheat the oven to a 215°F. Wash jars and lids with a warm soapy water. Place the jars into the oven on the center rack upside down and dry them for 20 mins or until completely dry (20 mins always works for me). Remove hot jars with pot holders onto kitchen towel – keep them upside down to prevent any lint from getting inside the jars. Boil lids in a medium pot for 4-5 mins. Drain the water and transfer hot lids to a kitchen towel to dry while pumpkin is cooking.

  6. Once pumpkin is cooked, drain most water (water will keep running little by little, but drain the huge flow) and set the pumpkin to cool a bit so you don’t blunt the blender knives. Once cooled, using a blender or a food processor, puree the cooked pumpkin in batches until applesauce consistency (1-2 mins in blender worked great). Remove any remaining water from the pot and pour the pureed pumpkin back into the pot. Do it fast to avoid major splashing.

  7. Bring the pumpkin puree to a boil over low heat and cook/boil for another 10-15 mins. (Puree will start boiling almost right away, but the way to know when it’s really boiling is when the puree has huge bubbles, the top of the lid is all splashed up and the pot is really hot). Spoon pumpkin puree into jars. Wipe the rim with a paper towel to make sure it’s free of any puree and tightly close each jar right away (but not too tight that the jar can’t handle).

  8. Cover jars with couple kitchen towels until completely cooled – it might take a day.

  9. Pumpkin puree can be used right away, stored in cooler temperature, refrigerator or freezer for up to a year.

Recipe Notes

Canning: They say that it's not safe to can pumpkin puree because of the bacteria or the acid and you're suppose to follow some special way to can it. However, because we boil the puree twice, it removes all the bacteria from the puree and puree stays fresh in sterilized glass jars for up to a year or even longer (from experience). Keep these in cooler temperature or refrigerator if canning for prolonged time. 

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Comments

  • Alec G

    This is the best tutorial I have ever trued! I will be using it from now on. The pumpkin puree turns out light as feather, which is exactly what I need for most dishes I make. I will not bake the pumpkin anymore for puree which I always did in the past. There is a difference in texture and baked is not as fluffy, but of course better than canned. Thanks Olga for sharing! We love your recipes so much!

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Thank you for sharing that with us, Alec! I’m glad you enjoyed this tutorial!

  • Nancy

    It’s just so easy to do this, I don’t think I’ll ever buy canned pumpkin again.

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Peel them. I cut into smaller pieces and it’s easier to peel. (See recipe and photos and tutorial above).

  • Genna M

    Thanks to your tutorial and tips, I am not loaded with pumpkin puree to last for the following year. So easy to follow. I have tried the baking option, and I think the boiling method turns out like applesauce, while baking is more dry. We prefer the applesauce (your way) because it works better for your Ukrainian Pumpkin bread or any type of pumpkin porridge. Seriously amazing recipe! Thank you for taking the time to share your tutorial with us!

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Thank you for the wonderful review, Genna! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe!

  • Joanna

    I am wondering if I can add my pumpkin pie spices and sugar to the purée before canning?

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Hi Joanna! Since I have not experienced that myself, I cannot really advise how it will turn out. I always do just plain pumpkin so that I can use for whatever recipe I need it for. Keep in mind, that if you do decide to experiment and add spices/sugar, you would then need to know how to work those added amounts into the recipe, hoping that it won’t be too much spices/sugar for that specific recipe.

  • Caroline H.

    Cannot wait to make it again. I have 1 jar left from fall. I keep these in my garage, it’s very cool there the whole year and jars don’t pop or change color, not that they should with proper sterilization and boiling 😊Your recipe is very easy to follow and I also started making it because of your banana bread and then I make pumpkin porridge with this puree. So so good.

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe, Caroline! Thank you for the great review!

  • Ella Dunn

    Got a question…. Can I water bath or pressure cook the jarred pumpkin for shelf stable storage.. Im curious I love canning and preserving my own foods.

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Hi Ella, I know people do it somehow with the pressure canner to kill all the bacteria to prevent from puree going bad on shelves. I personally never done it myself, but it’s possible. I just freeze or can like the recipe says and keep in fridge. Because I cook/boil it twice, I think it kills all the bacteria 🙂 which doesn’t make my cans go bad in refrigerator for long time. My mom had always kept them on shelves for a year since she doesn’t have much fridge space, and from what I recall, she never had any cans going bad.

  • Alli

    Such an easy recipe to follow and prepare. I used couple pumpkinS yesterday and canned few jars into fridge and froze tons more. Now give me all those pumpkin recipes 🙂 this puree is perfection! Thanks Olga!!!

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      You’re very welcome Alli! I’m so happy to hear you liked this recipe so much 🙂

  • nina

    I love homemade canned or frozen pumpkin puree, my grandma started me on it many many years ago, Store bought is just not the same. This is how I used to do mine till last year after many years of trying to peel an chop the pumpkin I learned from a lady that runs a farmers market that if you cut them in half, scoop the seeds an roast the pumpkins in the oven on aluminum foil cut side down for about 40 mins to an hour till fork tender that you can pull them out an just scoop the pumpkin out an puree it.

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      That’s another great way to make homemade pumpkin puree. I’ve never made this way myself, but I am confident it works just as great. The reason that I stick to the cooking/boiling version is that I can can in sterilized jars and store in fridge for months without it going bad or getting the bacteria. But I totally agree with you with homemade being the best. The desserts are way more delicious and fluffier in texture with homemade. Thank you for sharing your tips, Nine! 🙂

      • Gina LeBlanc

        This is also how I was taught . But my question is how long can it be refrigerated before it is no longer usable ?
        -Gina

      • Olga in the Kitchen

        I don’t know how long if you were to bake and scoop the pumpkin, but the way we do it, cooking it twice (making any bacteria that’s in it cook off) and canning in sterilized jars, tightly closing the lids to prevent the air getting inside, don’t go bad for a year if you keep it in refrigerator all time. I don’t keep them at garage since it tends to get warm during summer. I just used my last jar from last year. If you open a jar (letting air in), it last maximum 3 days in refrigerator before it gets bad. Another way to tell if pumpkin went bad, is if you see the top of puree in jar turning off-white color, which shouldn’t do it if you close the lid tight as soon as you poured puree in. I also freeze in bags (good for up to a year).

  • Faith

    Thanks so much for this recipe, it was very informative and have 4 pumpkins from our garden that I will do this with. Lot’s to save and use for later. I’m waiting for your mom’s pumpkin bread recipe 🙂

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      You are very welcome Faith! Also, do not throw away those pumpkin seeds. Here’s an easy way to save and enjoy them late.

  • Richard and Dolly

    We came across your recipe last night, and decided to try today. 6 large pumpkins later, we canned almost half and froze remaining. We have a huge family and everyone loves pumpkin, all the kids. We saw your insta story for the pumpkin bread and cannot wait for you to post it. Our kids would love it. I’m eager to try it myself lol Thank you for making our cooking so easy.

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Aww nice, I’d rather have my kids eat pumpkin bread than candies 🙂 I’m not sure when, but I will try my best to post the bread soon.

  • Lucy

    I’ve been making my homemade pumpkin this way too. Some for fridge and the rest for freezer to last until next fall. I always use up everything until like September and when pumpkins appear in stores, I go for another round.

  • Jessica

    Such an easy recipe to follow. I did just like you said. I kept three jars in fridge to last me until Christmas and the remaining puree I froze in bags. Can’t wait for the Ukrainian pumpkin bread!!

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