- Advertisement -

Preserve It! Pumpkin Puree


Share post:

- Advertisement -

I know, I know. Why in the world would you go to the trouble of making your own pumpkin puree and preserving it when there’s a can of Libby’s right on the shelf at the grocery store? I don’t really have a good answer to that except this: Look at the color! This is what the inside of a pumpkin should look like; there is nothing brown about it. And that is all I will say about that. Personally, I had the pumpkins and my canning equipment out so I thought I’d have some fun with this.

There are a few things to keep in mind when making your own pumpkin puree. First, and most important, is that there is a special type of pumpkin to use. According to both Martha Stewart and Amy Dunphy, pastry chef at Mardi Gras Fine Foods in Verona, the only kind of pumpkin to use is a sugar pumpkin: These are smaller pumpkins with fairly smooth sides, not the deeply ridged giants you’ll be carving into a jack-o-lantern. These are easy to find now, but they are not readily available for long. Second, pumpkin puree cannot be frozen. So unless you are planning to puree and bake right away, the only option is pumpkin from a can. Whether that can comes from the store or from you is entirely an individual choice. This year, I’ll have my own cans ready to go.

What you will need:

  • Steam canner with rack
  • 4 pint-sized canning jars with lids and bands
  • 3 sugar pumpkins

What’s next:

  • Prepare your canning supplies. Heat the water in the pot, clean your jars and have your lids and bands in a pan of hot water.
  • Prepare your pumpkins for steaming. I have found that the easiest way to cut up a pumpkin is to slice off  one whole side at a time. You will have two rather large pices that look like they could be half a pumpkin and two smaller pieces the are about half the size of the first slices.
  • Scrape out the seeds and discard (unless you plan to bake them). Do not worry about getting every last stringy piece on the inside– you will be able to get those later.
  • Steam the pumpkin. Place the pumpkin pieces in a shallow baking dish face down with a little water (about 1/2″) and bake at 350 degrees for  about 30-45 minutes or until a fork can easily pierce through the pumpkin skin. This will most likely need to be done in batches.
  • Remove pumpkin pieces from dish and let cool enough to handle.
  • Carefully scrape out the flesh. I like to scrape out any remaining stringy pieces first and then deal with the actual vegetable. Be careful to avoid any pieces of pumpkin skin. Place pumpkin flesh in a food processor and puree. If necessary, add some of the leftover water from steaming if pumpkin seems thick.
  • When all pumpkin is steamed and pureed, place in a pot and bring to a boil. This will kill any bacteria that may have grown while you were steaming and pureeing in batches.
  • Fill jars with pumpkin puree leaving about 1/2″ head space.
  • Place in canner and process for 25 minutes.
  • Carefully remove jars from canner and place on dish towels to cool.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
- Advertisement -
Previous article
Next article


  1. Dear Linda,
    Thank you so much for sending this. I had seen recipes for cubed pumpkin, which the website you gave suggests, but they did not come with a warning to NOT puree the pumpkin. I considered adding lemon juice to bump up acidity, but in the end left it out. As a home cook (admittedly untrained in culinary arts) I thought this would be a fun thing to try but did not come across the research you pointed out.
    Again thank you for the comment and the very helpful information. Next year I will leave the pumpkins cubed and puree when ready to use.

  2. I believe in your recipe…i also would like to say, if Libby’s can can pumpkin, so can we. There is one key fact everyone leaves out. Sanitary processing. I have canned puree and share with friends and family members for years; no harm comes from it, hence “if its done right, it’s good”.

  3. Missy, I agree with your thoughts. I used the pumpkin puree from this recipe last fall (a year after canning it) and it was perfectly fine. The seal on the jar was tight, and I used pumpkin liquid from steaming to thin out the puree, which I assumed would help the heat make it all the way through the jar. I am planning to do more pumpkin this fall and will prepare it the same way. Happy canning!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Related articles

Real Estate: 3 New Listings, 1 Open Houses, 0 Price Changes

Verona is drying out this weekend, although the storm didn't hit us as hard as it did the...

Eleanor Oranges, 97

Eleanor Oranges passed away on Thursday, September 28, at her home in Verona at the age of 97. Eleanor's...

Verona School Enrollment To Grow, But Slowly, Expert Says

While enrollment in Verona’s public schools is likely to grow in the next five years, it will not...

VHS Teacher To Remain In Detention In Sex Assault Case

Matthew Swajkowski, the 36-year-old teacher from Verona charged with sexually assaulting and endangering the welfare of a student,...
- Advertisement -