The Great Pumpkin Puree Experiment

As you read this blog there are a couple of important things you need to know about me.  The first is that I live in France and it is hard to find some of the “normal” things you find in America.  That is why I decided to make pumpkin puree.  It is impossible to find pumpkin in a can here.  I will take a can of Libby’s pumpkin any day but sometimes it just isn’t possible.  The other thing that is important to know is that I went to Culinary School for Baking and Pastry Arts.  Don’t let that intimidate you.  It is just to point out that yes I went to culinary school and no I have never made or used fresh pumpkin in my baking.  Shocking for some I know!

I found this Pioneer Woman recipe for pumpkin puree and decided to go for it.

Anyway here is some of what I learned.

1. My pumpkin took longer than the recipe said, so be patient. Here is a picture of my pumpkin ready for the oven.

2. Blend, blend and then blend some more…

I used a blender because it was my only choice and the recipe I used suggests a food processor.  I added a little bit of water but still had trouble getting it to blend.  So don’t add too much water, but don’t give up easily either.

3. Use a strainer.  My family has an infamous story of stringy pumpkin pie.  Basically when my Dad was a young pastor he and my mom went to a families house for dinner, the lady served pumpkin pie for dessert and it was stringy and not smooth.  Both of my parents had to choke the pie down and I think my mom swore off fresh pumpkin puree from that moment on.

I am so glad I did this, as you can see below it wasn’t easy to get the blended pumpkin through the strainer, I got rid of lots of stringy pieces and have a smooth puree.  I would recommend using a ricer, but I don’t have one.

I ended up with the equivalent of a can and a half of pumpkin, and a lot of dishes to do.  When I posted on Facebook that I was making pumpkin puree for the first time a lot of my friends told me that I wouldn’t be disappointed.  I am not convinced yet the proof will be in the pudding so to speak.  I will have to use the actual puree in baking to know if I like it or not. I will keep you posted how that goes!


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