How to make Pumpkin Puree – Homemade Pumpkin Puree in a Pressure Cooker

A pumpkin recipe was among the first cookery recipes to have originated in this country. John Josselyn wrote in 1672 to "slice them when ripe, cut them into dice, fill a pot with them of two or three gallons, and stew them upon a gentle fire for a whole day."

"Only the knife knows what goes on in the heart of a pumpkin." - Simone Schwarz-Bart

Fresh pumpkin puree is so easy and fun to make you will gladly save those cans of pumpkin for a time of year when pumpkin stands aren't around every corner.

Pumpkin Puree

See our Pumpkin Puree video recipe below, Halloween Edition!

Make pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cheese cake or refrigerate or freeze for later. What is your favorite pumpkin recipe?

Pressure cooker pumpkin

Pressure cooker pumpkin, a little guy

Pick a small pumpkin, about 8 inches in diameter, sometimes labeled "pie pumpkins" in the grocery store or maybe just a little guy from a roadside stand. I would stay away from the huge jack-o-lantern pumpkins as they may have strange tastes and textures however I've heard stories that they turn out fine.  Firmness and a good orange color without bruises is your goal.

cut the pumpkin in half

Cut the pumpkin in half

Wash the little guy then chop off his head. A serrated knife with sawing motion works best.  Now cut him in half.

Scoop out the innards. Make sure to get all the seeds and pulp from the middle. We love roasting pumpkin seeds: (350 degree, salted on a baking pan for about 10 minutes)

pumpkin puree scoop out innards

Scoop out the innards

Pureed pumpkin cooking methods:

Pressure Cooker Pumpkin Puree:

Place the small metal separator in the pressure cooker so the metal basket will sit above the water in the pot. Add enough water to just cover the separator. Place the pumpkin pieces in the metal basket and cook under pressure for 5 minutes. When done use the natural release method and the pumpkin should fall out of its skin.

Making pumpkin puree in the oven:

A second option would be to bake your pumpkin pieces in the oven. Place the pieces on a baking sheet (it doesn't matter how they face) and roast for 45 minutes at 350-degrees. You will know they are done when the pumpkin is fork tender so it may take a few minutes more or less.

Stove-top pumpkin puree:

Place the pumpkin pieces in a steaming basket or steaming grid and place them in a large pot with about an inch of water. Make sure the pumpkins aren't touching the water level and you may need to add water partly through to keep them steaming. Cover and cook for 8 to 12 minutes.

Microwave pumpkin puree:

Place the cut pumpkin pieces in a microwavable bowl. Put about an inch of water in the bowl and cover. Cook for 15 minutes and check to see if it is soft. Repeat the cooking in 2 minute increments until it is soft enough to easily scoop. Cooking will likely take between 20 and 30 minutes total.

We used a pressure cooker and placed the pieces inside the metal basket.

pressure cooker pumpkin puree

pressure cooker pumpkin puree

When the cooking time is up and the pumpkins are fork soft scoop out the pure pumpkin.  Watch out it's piping hot.

It should separate easily if it is cooked enough. If you find that the pumpkin puree is a little watery you can let it sit for 30 minutes and pour off any free water. Ours was good a good consistency out of the pressure cooker.

pumpkin puree

Separate skin and pure pumpkin

Optional: To get a smooth consistency you can use a stick blender or a regular blender for 2 or 3 minutes. I just mashed mine up with a spoon for a minute or two and was happy with the results.

That's it!
This is the first step when learning how to make a pumpkin pie from a pumpkin or any pumpkin recipe for that matter. If you aren't starting a pumpkin recipe you can place the puree in a ziploc bag or container and refrigerate or freeze.

Looking for more resources and inspiration?  Check out these pumpkin puree sites

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Thanks for reading.

"I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate." ~Julia Child  
Why learn pressure cooking?
It's 7 pm. The end of the work day stomach rumbles...

In one hand, a take out menu. In the other hand, the refrigerator door...its contents staring back almost as blankly as we are towards them. We want a homemade meal, but also want something quick and simple to make.
1. Simple and quick recipes requiring basic skills to become proficient in the kitchen.
2. Quality ingredients, not necessarily 100% organic, but meals without artificials and chemistry class additives.
3. To understand more of the story of our food and take small steps towards self-reliance.

It's true, there are many benefits to pressure cooking: the time savings, the taste, a small step towards self-reliance, sustainability... but the real benefit is in what we learn as we redefine our relationship with food. Good food can be fast. Good food can be easy.

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