How to Roast Pumpkin for Puree – roasting fresh sugar or pie pumpkins to make puree is easy, and the puree is tastier than purchased puree.
I am also including my SIS (simple is smart) method for removing some water from the puree before using it. All that extra moisture can leave your baked goodies doughy or gooey instead of yummy.
I adore all things baked with pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice puree. For some ideas and suggestions check out a few of my recipes here. Pumpkin Puff Pastry Twist – light and airy puff pastry with a pumpkin spice filling. Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls. For a quick and easy pumpkin recipe, these Pumpkin Spice Dream Bars are to die for. If you aren’t into baking, try my Pumpkin Ravioli with a Creamy Sage Browned Butter Sauce.
Why do I Roast Pumpkins for Puree instead of boiling them?
Pumpkins have a lot of water, so I like to roast them instead of boiling or cooking them because it dries out the flesh. A drier puree is better for use in baked goods. A cup of watery puree can add as much as an extra half cup of liquid to a recipe.
What Kind of Pumpkin is Good for Roasting?
Sugar or Pie pumpkins are the best for roasting and making them into puree. They have a much lower moisture content and are more flavorful than the pumpkins that are used to make jack-0-lanterns.
Prepare the Pumpkin For Roasting:
Wash the pumpkin and cut it in half. Scoop out the seeds and then cut each half into 6 or 8 pieces. I cover my sheet pan with some aluminum foil that I spray with a little non-stick cooking spray. Otherwise, the juice from the pumpkins will glue the pumpkin slices to the sheet pan and make a mess on the sheet pan.
Roast the Pumpkin:
Roast the pumpkin slices at 400 degrees for about 30 – 45 minutes or until the flesh is very soft when pierced with a fork.
Once the pumpkin is roasted, let it cool and then scoop it out of the skin. It also works to peel the skin off of the pumpkin’s flesh. If the flesh is browned or charred a bit, remove those areas as well before mashing or pureeing the pumpkin.
Four pounds of pumpkin that’s about 1.8kg will yield 2 lbs of Pumpkin puree (900 grams) or 2 cups. Two cups of pumpkin puree will yield 1/2 cup of pumpkin concentrate.
Make the Puree:
Mash the pumpkin with a potato masher or put it in a blender and blend until smooth. The pumpkin is now ready to use in recipes that ask for canned pumpkin. Note this pumpkin isn’t the same as the purchased canned pumpkin pie mix. This canned pumpkin pie mix has spices and sugar added to it.
Concentrate the Puree:
As promised, here is my SIS method for removing the extra moisture from the puree.
When I use pumpkin puree in my baked goods, I find that it can add a lot of extra moisture to what I am making. I like to remove the excess moisture by putting the puree in a nut milk bag or several layers of cheesecloth. I squeeze the extra water out of the pumpkin puree. I’ve removed as much as 2 cups of water from 2 1/2 cups of puree. My pumpkin Babka and pumpkin cinnamon rolls have the extra water removed from the pumpkin puree before using it. I am also including my SIS (simple is smart) method for removing some of the water from the puree before using it. All that extra moisture can leave your baked goodies doughy or gooey instead of yummy.
- sheet pan
- 1 sugar pumpkin (approx 2 lbs) 900g
- Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds
- Cut each half into 4 or 6 pieces depending on the size of the pumpkin.
- Place the pumpkin slices on a baking sheet and roast in a 400°F oven for 30 - 45 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft enough to easily pierce with a fork.
- Remove from the oven and once the pumpkin is cool enough remove the skin and any darkened or browned outside areas of the pumpkin and discard.
- Puree in a blender or mash the roasted pumpkin.
- The puree is now ready to use in a recipe that calls for pumpkin puree.
- If the puree is too watery you can remove the excess water by putting it in a nut milk bag and squeezing out the extra moisture. I've removed as much as 2 cups of water from pumpkin puree.
- When I use the pumpkin puree in baked goods, scones, cinnamon rolls, babka, I will use 2 cups of thin, watery, puree to yield 1/2 cup of thick pumpkin puree that I use in my recipe.