Anyone who enjoys baking will often see a can of pumpkin puree in American recipes. This is available ready-made in the United States. But in the Netherlands it is almost unavailable, unless you go to a specialty store. Fortunately, pumpkin puree is also easy to make yourself, it just takes a little more time than opening a can.
Fall means pumpkin
As soon as fall arrives, pumpkin recipes start popping up again. Pumpkin bread or muffins, pumpkin pie, pumpkin croquettes and even coffee (pumpkin spice latte). They are all made with pumpkin puree. The easiest way is to make a stock and freeze it in small portions. This way you always have some puree on hand when you start cooking.
Which pumpkin is suitable?
Actually, any edible pumpkin is suitable for making puree. Some taste slightly different, which can go well with a particular dish. The Hoikkado is easy to use because it has a soft skin. The bottle gourd is often used for roasting.
Also read: What is the easiest way to peel a pumpkin?
2 ways to make pumpkin puree
There are 2 ways to make pumpkin puree. You can cook or roast the pumpkin in the oven. Cooking is faster than in the oven, so if you have less time you could opt for this. Although there are also cooking enthusiasts who say that roasting a pumpkin gives more flavor to the puree.
Make pumpkin puree by boiling
If you have a whole pumpkin, you will first need to peel it and remove the seeds. Cut the flesh into small, equal cubes. Place a pan of water on the stove, add the cubes and sprinkle with a little salt. Boil the pumpkin cubes until they are soft. This is usually about 5 to 10 minutes. Drain the cubes and put them back in the pan. Save some cooking liquid if necessary. Puree with a hand blender until smooth. If you find the puree too thick, you can add some cooking liquid.
Make puree by roasting
Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the flesh. You can now roast the pumpkin, skin and all, in the oven. Place the pumpkin, skin side down, on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Roast for about 30 to 60 minutes at 200 degrees. It will be easier to remove the peel after the pulp is cooked. But you can also choose to do this in advance and cut small cubes. This shortens the oven time to 20 minutes. Then place the pumpkin in a container or bowl and puree.
Also read: Fall baking, consider these flavors
Only add spices when you are ready to use the puree
You may have noticed that we have not added any spices or other ingredients when making the pumpkin puree. When you make a larger quantity, you can use a small portion each time. Sometimes it will be for something sweet, other times for something savory. That is why it is more convenient to season the puree just before you use it in a baking or dish. Then you always have the right taste.
Pumpkin puree for dinner
Would you like to make pumpkin puree for dinner? Then we recommend cooking the pumpkin in (vegetable) stock. Then it gets some flavor. After cooking you can choose to add cream or crème fraîche to get a softer taste.
(Source: Heel Holland Bakt, Culy, Eef cooks like this, Laura’s Bakery, Albert Heijn. Photo: Shutterstock)