And it's freezer-friendly. 
Credit: Photo: Rebecca Longshore

When pumpkins are in season, you can make and freeze your own puree for use in a variety of recipes. It’s best to select small, cantaloupe-size pumpkins labeled “pie” or “sugar” pumpkins; these have smooth, dense flesh and sweet flavor.

How to make homemade pumpkin puree: 

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut pumpkins into 5- x 5-inch pieces. Remove seeds and strings. Arrange pieces, rind sides up, in a single layer in foil-lined baking pans. Bake, covered, 1 to 11/2 hours or until tender.
  2. When cool enough to handle, scoop pulp from rind into a food processor or blender. Cover and process until smooth.
  3. Spoon puree into a fine mesh sieve (if desired, line sieve with a double layer of 100% cotton cheesecloth). Let stand 1 hour to drain. Lightly press puree to remove additional liquid; discard liquid.
  4. Measure 13/4 cups puree into pint-size freezer containers or quart-size freezer bags. Lay flat to freeze. Freeze up to 6 months. To use, thaw the puree in the refrigerator.