Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pumpkin Season and Pumpkin Puree

When the humidity goes away and the first signs of the fall breeze start to blow through NC, a switch in my brain turns on and all I want is pumpkin pie, muffins, bread, granola, puree, seeds...pumpkin anything! And yes, it might be totally cliche and trendy to love pumpkin flavored dishes in the fall, but I...DON'T....CARE!!

Pumpkin Season and Pumpkin Puree |

If you know me, you know that I genuinely LOVE anything pumpkin. And if you don't know me, let me try and express how much...

I don't care how unhealthy it is, if it has pumpkin in it, I am going to devour it! 

Pumpkin Season and Pumpkin Puree |

A few years ago, the grocery stores in my area actually ran out of pumpkin puree at the beginning signs of Fall! I freaked out so much that I ordered multiple cans online just so I could have my pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. A bit extreme, I agree, but that just goes to show how much I love, no, need pumpkin in my life! 

Last year, I tried making my own pumpkin puree to use for baking, oatmeal, or just mixing with ice cream or yogurt. Making your own puree, is a bit time consuming, but develops a whole added flavor level than canned puree. However, I always have a can on backup in the pantry! 

Here are some of my favorite pumpkin recipes that are perfect to make with the pumpkin puree.

Pumpkin Recipes

 - Pumpkin Walnut Granola from Everybody Likes Sandwiches
 - Pumpkin Ale Waffles from The Beeroness
 - Pumpkin and Feta Muffins from 101 Cookbooks
 - Silky Pumpkin Pie at Fosters Market in North Carolina (my go to pumpkin pie recipe)
 - Pumpkin butter from Oh She Glows

Homemade Pumpkin Puree 

Adapted from Oh She Glows
Makes: About 5 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40-50 minutes

1 (3-5 pound) Sugar Pie pumpkin (I usually do 2 at a time) 
Olive oil spray

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Pumpkin Season and Pumpkin Puree |

Using a sharp knife, slice the stem off of the pumpkins and cut in half. Take a metal spoon and scoop out all of the "guts" and seeds. The seeds can be reserved and roasted (great recipe here), but I don't usually do this.

Pumpkin Season and Pumpkin Puree | www.kettlercuisine.comPumpkin Season and Pumpkin Puree |

Don't worry about the skin, this is best left on the halves since it will easily peel off after the pumpkin is cooked. Brush the inside of the pumpkin halves with a little bit of olive oil and lay (cut side down) on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Pumpkin Season and Pumpkin Puree | www.kettlercuisine.comPumpkin Season and Pumpkin Puree |

Bake for 40 minutes at 350F. The pumpkin skin will turn darker and a fork will easily poke through the skin when it is finished. If you start with a larger pumpkin, then the cooking time will be longer. 

With a large spoon, scoop out the "meat" of the pumpkin, or just simply peel off the skin. Place the pumpkin into a food processor or blender (in batches if you have too much). Process or blend until you get a smooth, creamy, even texture. Store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks or store in the freezer for later in the season! 

I like to use my pumpkin puree in my morning yogurt and granola and for baking, like my mother-in-law's famous Pumpkin Bars! And with that....I leave you with this image:

Pumpkin Season and Pumpkin Puree |


  1. YUUUUMMMM!!! YAY PUMPKINS! It freezes really well for sure especially for muffins, bread, and pie all year round!! I love the granola idea...

    1. Thanks Kendall! Love your new blog:) The granola is great - just make sure you cook it enough to get crunchy.

  2. Ooh, will have to try making pumpkin puree myself! Had a conversation about that Wednesday, actually. Mike would be impressed by your knife, btw. Question though -- you say foil-lined baking sheet but that looks like parchment paper?

    1. Very observant Shauna!! You can really use either. I would recommend spraying the surface with a bit of olive oil, or rubbing olive oil on either the foil or parchment paper. This helps prevent the pumpkin halves from sticking.

      And yes, good knives are a must in my kitchen! That guy in the picture is my fav :)

  3. You are turning me into much more of a pumpkin fan than I've ever been before! THANKS!