Nourish PA: How to Break Down a Whole Pumpkin for Puree or Pumpkin Pie

Most pumpkin pie recipes call for canned pumpkin, but making your own puree is easy! Unfortunately, most decorative pumpkins and gourds are not great for eating, so if you do want to make DIY pumpkin puree, look for one of these varieties: Dickinson, Baby Boo, Baby Pam, New England Pie, Cheese, Cinderella, Peanut, Lumina or Sugar (also called Pie Pumpkins). Once you’ve roasted and mashed your pumpkin, try our classic recipe for pumpkin pie, which is part of the recipe below.

How to Break Down a Whole Pumpkin for Puree or Pumpkin Pie

Makes 5 cups puree
Prep Time Cook Time Total Time
15 min 100 min 115 min

Pumpkin Puree


  • 2 small pumpkins, such as sugar pumpkins


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut pumpkin in half widthwise. Using a large spoon, scrape seeds and pulp from the center. Place pumpkin halves, cut-side down on parchment paper- or aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Bake until pumpkin is fork-tender, about 45-55 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before handling.
  3. Carefully peel skin from flesh of pumpkin. Using a large fork, a handheld potato masher, food processor, ricer or food mill, mash or puree pumpkin until smooth, about 1 minute.
  4. Store refrigerated, or freeze in a resealable plastic bag until ready to use.

Pumpkin Pie


  • 1 (9-inch) refrigerated pie crust or homemade pie crust
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Transfer pie crust to pie dish. Press crust into pie dish and crimp edges.
  2. Mix pumpkin, milk, sugar, eggs and pumpkin pie spice together in large bowl until smooth.
  3. Pour pumpkin mixture into prepared pie crust. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is set, about 35 to 45 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving.
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