Making the filling for pumpkin pie can be as simple as buying a can at the store, but you can exercise more control over the flavor of your pie by taking steps like making your own pumpkin pie spice or even roasting your own pumpkin to make puree. We’ll teach you how to make a pumpkin pie filling using canned pumpkin puree and how to make pumpkin pie filling from scratch using a whole, fresh pumpkin.
Canned Pumpkin Puree
When making a filling using canned pumpkin, you’ll want to make sure to use canned pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie mix. The mix has sugar and spices already in it, so if you have purchased the pumpkin pie mix, follow the directions on the label.
The benefit of using canned pumpkin puree is the simplicity. You don’t need to break down a pumpkin, roast it or puree it, instead you can grab your can opener and get to work.
Here’s how to make pumpkin pie filling using canned pumpkin puree.
- Gather your equipment: a whisk or beaters, a medium bowl and a can opener.
- Mix up a batch of pumpkin pie spice, using: 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg, 1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice and 1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves.
- Then, simply beat the ingredients in a bowl. In addition to canned pumpkin, most recipes call for eggs, pumpkin pie spice, evaporated milk, sugar and salt.
Homemade Pumpkin Puree
Passionate scratch bakers may want to try making homemade pumpkin puree using a fresh pumpkin. Sugar pumpkins are sweet, as the name implies, and great for baking.
Here’s how to make homemade pumpkin puree.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F, and gather your equipment, including a sharp knife, cutting board, sheet pan and food processor. Make cleanup easier by lining your sheet pan with aluminum foil.
- Begin by cutting the pumpkin in half, scooping out the seeds and discarding the stem. Then lay the squash flesh-side down on the sheet pan, rub the pumpkin with a neutral oil (such as canola) and bake until tender. Bake time will depend on the size of the pumpkin, but it should take about 20 minutes per pound.
- After baking the pumpkin and allowing it to cool completely, cut away the skin and discard. Then, puree the pumpkin flesh in a food processor until smooth. You will need 1 ½ cups of pumpkin to make a 9-inch pie. Store any excess pumpkin puree in the freezer for a future pie.
- One you have the pureed pumpkin, you can follow any pumpkin pie recipe calling for canned pumpkin puree. It will just be a matter of mixing in the other filling ingredients, as described above.