Rather than buying a can of pumpkin puree, you can steam your own fresh pumpkin and use the tender, cooked meat as pumpkin pie filling or in a host of other baked goods, such as tasty seasonal cakes and cookies. Choose a pumpkin that is designated for cooking, such as a small pie pumpkin, instead of a pumpkin grown for carving and decorating. Carving pumpkins tend to have less flesh and more seeds than small baking pumpkins.
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Use a sharp vegetable peeler to remove the skin from the entire pumpkin. Discard the skin.
Cut the pumpkin in half with a sharp chef's knife. Use a large metal spoon to remove the seeds and stringy innards from the pumpkin halves.
Chop the pumpkin flesh into 2-inch-square cubes with the chef's knife.
Set a steamer basket into a large pot. Fill the pot with water until the water just touches the bottom of the basket.
Place the pumpkin cubes in the steamer basket and set the lid on the pot.
Set the pot on the stove and turn the burner to medium heat. Bring the water to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer the water for 25 minutes.
Stick a fork into a pumpkin cube to check for doneness. The pumpkin will be soft when cooked. It can take up to 40 minutes for the pumpkin to be fully cooked.
Remove the steamer basket from the pot and pour the pumpkin chunks into a bowl.
Puree the mixture with a stick blender or potato masher if you are replacing canned pumpkin puree with the freshly cooked pumpkin.
Things You'll Need
Large metal spoon
Large pot with lid
Stick blender or potato masher
You can use steamed pumpkin in savory dishes, such as soups and stews.
Do not cook a pumpkin that has already been carved. Once cut, pumpkins begin to develop mold.