For me, Thanksgiving would be incomplete without a homemade pumpkin pie. In fact, I hold pumpkin pie in such high regard that I spent weeks perfecting my artwork of a pumpkin pie for our Etsy Shop.
For years, I made my pumpkin pie using canned pumpkin purée. Organic canned pumpkin purée was readily available at my local grocery store and both the color and flavor were good enough to be included in our holiday pumpkin pie. Then I noticed that the supply seemed to dwindle each year and the price increased every season. Suddenly, I began to wonder if I could make my own homemade pumpkin purée.
We had some sugar pie pumpkins from our garden that year and our local farmer’s markets and farm stands had them in abundance and at a very affordable price. Once I made my first batch, I found myself wondering why I hadn’t started making my own fresh pumpkin purée sooner. The process was simple, hands off, and produced a thick, rich purée full of fresh flavor.
This homemade pumpkin purée will be featured in the pumpkin pie at our Thanksgiving feast this year. Now you can follow this simple recipe and make your own fresh pumpkin purée for yours!
Homemade Fresh Pumpkin Purée
I choose small Sugar Pie Pumpkins for my homemade purée. I find that they are full of earthy pumpkin flavor and are easy to work with. Their small size makes them easy to handle and fit two or more in the slow cooker at once. A small pumpkin that weighs around 1 ½ pounds will produce approximately one pound of purée, slightly more than a single can of store bought pumpkin purée.
Wash the pumpkins to remove any dirt and debris from the exterior. Using a sharp knife, quarter the pumpkin and remove the stem. With a spoon, remove the seeds and pulpy flesh connecting the seeds to the pumpkin.
I reserve this pumpkin to share with our hens. You can read my post to learn more about pumpkin’s health benefits for your hens and learn how to make them a warm, nutritious oatmeal. The seeds and flesh provide our flock with a delicious and healthy treat.
Place the pumpkin quarters in the slow cooker. Place the cover on the slow cooker and turn the heat on high.
At the two hour mark, check the pumpkin for doneness with the tip of a sharp knife or fork. It should easily yield and be soft and fully cooked. At this point, I turn off the heat, return the lid to the pot, and allow the pumpkin to cool to room temperature.
When cool, scrape the tender pulp from the skin using a large spoon. Purée the pulp in a food processor, blender, or by hand with a potato masher.
Homemade pumpkin purée can be used immediately, stored for several days in the refrigerator, or frozen for up to one year.
This process can also be used with other winter squashes to create homemade squash puree for soups and savory dishes.
This post is included in our 1840 Farmhouse Thanksgiving Gallery.
You’ll find our favorite Thanksgiving recipes all gathered in one place so that you can easily include them in your family’s celebration. I’ll be adding new recipes right up until the big day, so check back to see even more delicious and fabulous Thanksgiving posts.