How to Freeze pumpkin puree

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After making my own pumpkin puree last year, I can’t go back to the old stuff in the cans.  Last year I put the pumpkin puree into individual 1/2 cup plastic containers.  This worked ok but given our full freezer it was pretty common for these hockey pucks to fall out from where they were wedge breaking on the floor (if I was luck enough to get my foot out of the way)

This year I am using a different technique to freeze these to use in pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake (low carb version), pumpkin ice cream, or pumpkin bread this holiday season.  Before you can freeze the pumpkin puree you need to get it from the pumpkin.

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Step 1: Clean the pumpkin. Use a little water and scouring pad to remove loose dirt

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Step 2: Remove stem and cut pumpkin in half. This will take a little muscle to get through but using a serrated blade should make quick work of this little pumpkin.

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Step 3: Scoop out seeds and innards. Using an ice cream scoop scrape out the seeds and the stringy innards, you don’t have to get this completely clean as you can see below. I also decided to save a few seeds with hopes to grow my own sugar pumpkins next year using the seed saving techniques I have wrote about last year.

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Step 4: Cut the pumpkin into smaller equally sized pieces. Once you have all the seeds and gunk out slice up the pumpkin halves into several equally sized pieces.

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Step 5: Cook the pumpkin. Places pieces in a casserole dish and cover with top or if yours are overflowing your largest casserole dish like mine you can simply cover the dish with a piece of aluminum foil. Place in a preheated oven at 350F and cook the pumpkin for 45-90 minutes. The pumpkin is done cooking when you can slice through the pumpkin flesh with an edge of a fork with almost no effort.

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Step 6: Blend. Use a large metal spoon to scape the pumpkin away from the skin and place into a blender and blend until smooth. If you have a very dry pumpkin like mine you might need to add a little water to get a good cortex going like above.

Step 7: Freeze.  Scoop your pumpkin puree into a couple of cupcake pans and freeze for 24 hours.  Then using both your thumbs apply a little pressure on the bottom of each frozen pumpkin puck to dislodge.  My wife had a great idea of using those silicon cupcake liners to make getting them out easier….though we just purchased those a day too late so I had to deal with the muscle and cold finger technique.  Place your dislodged pumpkin pucks into a freezer bag removing extra air with a straw and should be good to use for about 12 months…which is perfect when more pumpkins arrive and the process repeats.

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Each puck is approximately 1/2 cup so just pull out and defrost as many as you need for your recipe.  Given there are no additives or sugar involved I have also used this same puree as baby food, which our daughter seemed to enjoy, but I opted for some fresh banana bread for myself.

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12 Responses to “How to Freeze pumpkin puree”

  1. Gavin Says:

    Thank you for the story. I just put my batch in the freezer. A couple questions.
    1) It took quite a bit longer for mine to cook. Would cutting the pumpkin into smaller pieces help? I cut my pumpkin in half, then each of those pieces into quarters.
    2) How much water did you add? Is it necessary to get it to vortex in the blender? It just seemed like I added a lot of water to get there, then when the puree was in the cupcake tins some water was separating to the top. It seemed okay on consistency as I will be using most for our baby, but how does that effect recipes using the pumpkin?

    Thanks again for the step-by-step. I think it turned out perfect and the three sugar pumpkins on our porch are likely going to get into our freezer the same way.


  2. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    Gavin, good questions. Yes the time required depends on the size of the pieces. I think I had mine in about 1/8s for mine. I am sure different species of pumpkins could have slightly different cooking times.

    If you have a higher end blender you could avoid some of the extra water. For my cheap blender without the addition of water my pumpkin would be very chunky. If you get good blending you can avoid adding water completely.


  3. Valerie Says:

    Just wanted to add one other tip to make this as easy as possible–I did mine in the crock pot and then just let it cook until I was ready to deal with it. Great idea with the muffin tin.


  4. kevin Says:

    My wife makes an awesome pumpkin icecream served with pecan pie for Thanksgiving. Thanks for the recipe.http://www.klfconstruction.com/


  5. Sonia Says:

    Thanks for the info, would running the bottom of the muffin pans under water help loosen the pucks? I plan to try your method this week. I think I’ll try Valerie’s idea of using the crock pot. I’ve got liners that will make it really easy to clean up too.


  6. How To Freeze Fresh Pumpkin For Pies, Breads And More Recipes | Frugal Diva Frenzy Says:

    […] all at the same time so that you will save time and money later. You can find a step by step way to Freeze Pumpkin Here. This entry was posted in freebie and tagged freebies. Bookmark the permalink. « Keep […]


  7. donita Says:

    i made homemade pumpkin pie and bread for thanksgiving. i had a little bit left over. and i was wondering if i can refreeze the leftover pumpkin puree i did not use thanks i have enough to make one more pie.


  8. Jennifer Says:

    I usually just cut the pumpkin in half, place in a glass baking dish cut sides up and add 1/4″ water. Then cover with foil and bake for 1 hour at 400. Great idea using the muffin tins. Thanks!


  9. Kris Says:

    I’ve never actually had pumpkin puree before but I’ll have to try it after reading this


  10. kate Says:

    love the cupcake idea in that is a half cup measure.I have 3 pumpins to process and only making 2 pumpkin loaves.


  11. Memere Celeste Says:

    Hint for those using the metal muffin pan. invert the pan over a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap and immediately cover with a dish towel that was run under very hot water and wrung out. this will loosen the cups just enough to pop out the puree and then place in the freezer baggies. I used crockpots to cook apple sauce, apple butter and pumpkin butter(for home use only)for over 25 years.


  12. Denice Says:

    I cut my pumkin in half. Take out the seeds and turn it upside down on a cookie sheet and bake it about 40 minutes or until a fork goes through smoothly. Then right before it cools I cut through the skin and peal it back like a banana. I put the pumpkin in my blender and puree it and then freeze it in freeqer bags. works great.


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