How to Puree and Freeze Pumpkin or Squash
When making pumpkin pie, pumpkin bars, pumpkin muffins, or anything that typically calls for canned pumpkin, I prefer to use my homemade squash puree. Canned pumpkin can have a bitter metallic taste, while homemade squash or pumpkin puree is much sweeter, tastes delicious plain, and is bright orange in color. Pureed buttercup or butternut squash is usually much sweeter than pureed pie pumpkin, although you can use a pie pumpkin for the following method if you prefer.
This pureed squash can also be used for savory recipe like soup or pasta and also makes a great baby food.
I freeze the pureed squash is 1/4 cup portions. If the recipe calls for 1 cup of pumpkin, I simply take out 4 portions of squash to thaw, and avoid wasting part of a can of pumpkin for a recipe that doesn’t use the whole can.
Here is the step by step process:
1- Select your squash. Butternuts are sweet and moist, yielding a puree the consistency of applesauce. Buttercups are sweet and dry, yielding a puree the consistency of stiff mashed potatoes. A pie pumpkin can be used if you want a truly authentic “pumpkin” dessert.
2- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash the squash if dirty. Cut in half and scoop out the seeds. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and place the squash cut side down.
(I used a buttercup squash.)
3- Bake for 30-60 minutes until the squash is tender and can easily be pierced with a fork.
See that sticky black burnt juice? That’s why you want to use parchment paper!
4- Allow to cool before scooping out the inside flesh. Puree in a blender or with an immersion blender.
5- Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper. Using a cooking scoop or a spoon, scoop 1/4 cup portions of squash on to the parchment paper. Idea: you could also use a silicone muffin pan to freeze the squash instead of a lined baking sheet. Place in the freezer for several hours.
I measured the first portion with a 1/4 cup measure, then eye-balled the rest of the portions to be the same size.
6- Transfer the frozen chunks to a ziploc bag and label the contents. Now you have homemade squash to enjoy all year!