Yes, making pumpkin puree at home is so easy and economical and here is how to make homemade pumpkin puree from scratch in your Instant Pot. You will never go back to buying canned pumpkin puree ever again. Just pressure cook, peel and puree. That's it!!! Plus it tastes so much better. Perfect to use in your fall recipes.
Why make Homemade Pumpkin Puree
Well if this thought has never occurred to you before, let me share with you what I made pumpkin puree at home and what I realized.
Here in Germany, it's not easy to find purees or pre-cut fruits and veggies, simply because the consumers like their produce minimally processed. Consumers prefer buying whole raw ingredients and making their own. So long story short, I haven't yet found pumpkin puree or pre-cut squashes in the grocery stores yet. So this led to me making my own pumpkin puree, and learning how to easily cut squash.
In the process I realized the three reasons why you need to make your own pumpkin puree from scratch at home.
First, it's easier than you think. No overwhelming steps involved like peeling or chopping the raw pumpkin. Simply pressure cook, peel and puree, that's it!!! If you think it's time consuming, you are wrong. Once you pressure cook the pumpkin it's just a matter of 5 mins to peel the skin and puree the pumpkin.
Second, it's all about the flavors. It's so much better than any canned pumpkin puree. It's tastes to much fresher and you can tell the difference when you add this puree to the recipes. The actual act of canning and sitting in a metal can for who knows how long definitely affects the taste. The taste and the fresh flavor is a game changer. Thus the bright yellow color than the rusty orange color of the canned puree. Fresh pumpkin is always the lightest in color.
Third it's all natural with no preservatives added. No sitting in a metal can for who knows how long.
Lastly it's so much more economical to make your own pumpkin puree at home than but cans. Try doing the math next time when you go grocery shopping.
Instant Pot Pumpkin Puree
Making your pumpkin puree in an electric pressure cooker is a game changer. It's so much faster as it's a known fact the pressure cooker reduces cooking times. If you have ever tried baking the pumpkin before you will know that it typically takes around 45 minutes for the pumpkin to completely bake excluding the cutting, chopping and peeling of the raw pumpkin.
The Instant Pot makes life very easy and it's all ready in under 25 mins with only the last 5 minutes being hands on to peel the pressure cooked pumpkin and puree it.
So if you haven't already join the electric pressure band yet, check out our post on 'Is the Instant Pot Worth it?' and take the plunge. You won't regret it. We promise.
How to make Pumpkin Puree in Instant Pot
Let's get started right away, because making Pumpkin Puree in the Instant Pot is way easier than you thought. Here is just a gist of the steps involved. You can find the detailed recipe in the recipe card towards the end of the post.
- Sourcing the right pumpkin - It's best to look for small baking pumpkins like sugar pumpkins or pie pumpkins compared to the larger carving pumpkins. Sugar or pie pumpkins smaller, dense, sweeter, less watery and taste better than the carving pumpkins. You can buy them at your local grocery store, farmers market or even a farm close to home. Try to get a pumpkin that is atleast three to four pounds as once it will yield you approximately one pound of puree.
- Pressure cook the pumpkin - Wash the pumpkin thoroughly. On the cutting board, cut the stem of the pumpkin making a hole on the top of the pumpkin. Scoop out seeds and the fibrous strands.Place the wire rack in the in inner pot, add water to it. Place the pumpkin on top of the wire rack. Close the lip of the pressure cooker, seal the vent and pressure cook for about 15-20 minutes on high pressure. Once the cook time is up, perform a quick release. Check the texture if your pumpkin is still hard, pressure cook for another 5 mins followed by a quick release. Typically harder pumpkins take about 20 minutes.
- Puree the pumpkin - Allow the pumpkin to cool, using a peeler peel the skin of the pumpkin like you peel an apple. Peeling the pumpkin after it's cooked is a cake walk. Cut open the pumpkin into smaller pieces. Throw the pumpkin into a blender and blend until you get a soft smooth puree. That's it. It's ready to be used in a recipe or stored. Simple, isn't it?
Tips on how to make the best pumpkin puree
Which pumpkin is best for puree
Like I mentioned above it's best to find a three to four pound sugar or pie pumpkin to make a puree which you can use for your fall recipes. These pumpkins are smaller, denser, sweeter and less watery compared to the larger carving pumpkins.
Pumpkin doesn't fit the pressure cooker
Typically a three to four pound whole pumpkin fits a six quart inner pot easily. Incase for some reason it doesn't fit the pot, cut the pumpkin into half and play the pieces on the wire rack for pressure cooking.
Pumpkin is still hard
the harder the pumpkin the longer it takes to pressure cook. Typically it takes about 20 minutes of pressure cooking for the skin to become soft, but if you pumpkin is still hard then pressure cook it again for 5 minutes followed by a quick release.
My pumpkin puree color varies
If you are wondering why your pumpkin puree is not the rusty orange color like that of canned puree, it's because freshly pureed pumpkin is always bright yellow. Also the canned variety of pumpkin puree is made up of partially pumpkin plus other varieties of winter squashes too as they fall under the same genus. So your bright yellow is better than the canned rusty orange.
How to store homemade pumpkin puree
Homemade pumpkin puree can be stored either in the refrigerator or freezer. You can make 16 oz. bags and store in the refrigerator for upto 4 weeks or freeze them for upto a year. You can expect a slight change in taste when frozen for long but it's still better than canned pumpkin puree.
Recipes using Pumpkin Puree
More Fall Recipes
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- 1 sugar or pie pumpkin (3 to 4 lbs)
- 1.5 cups water
- Refer to the post for finding the right variety of pumpkin.
- Wash and clean the pumpkin thoroughly before you pressure it.
- On the cutting board, cut the stem of the pumpkin making a hole on the top of the pumpkin, like you would for a jack-o-lantern. Scoop out the seeds and the fibrous strands.
- Place the wire rack in the in inner pot, add water to it.
- Place the pumpkin on top of the wire rack. Close the lid of the pressure cooker, seal the vent and pressure cook for about 20 minutes on high pressure. Once the cook time is up, perform a quick release. Check the texture if your pumpkin is still hard, pressure cook for another 5 mins followed by a quick release. The harder the pumpkin the longer it takes.
- Allow the pumpkin to cool, then using a peeler peel the skin of the pumpkin like you peel an apple. Peeling the pumpkin after it's cooked is a cake walk. Cut open the pumpkin into smaller pieces.
- Throw the pumpkin into a blender and blend until you get a soft smooth puree. That's it. It's ready to be used in a recipe or stored. Simple, isn't it?
Refer to Tips to make the best Pumpkin Puree in the post.
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