A cheaper alternative to canned pumpkin is to buy a fresh pumpkin and make your own puree. Not only will it cost less, it will be fresher. Homemade pumpkin puree can be frozen and used later. Buy a big pumpkin to use, and you'll have a whole year's worth of pumpkin for pies, breads, and bars. Plus, you can do this with your halloween pumpkin leftovers to create another use for the Jack ‘O Lantern after it has served its purpose.
how to Make Pumpkin Puree from Fresh Pumpkins
Step #1: Preheat your oven to 350.
Step #2: Cut your pumpkin in half. I used the smaller, pie pumpkins (pictured here) but larger pumpkins can be used as well.
Step #3: Scoop out the insides of the pumpkin, making sure it's pretty clean.
Step #4: Add about a cup of water on the bottom of your pan. For a smaller pumpkin, a cake pan works well. For larger pumpkins, a roasting pan may be necessary.
Step #5: Place the pumpkin face down in the pan, and bake in the preheated oven for about an hour.
Step #6: Remove from oven, and let sit for 15-30 minutes to cool.
Step #7: Scoop out the fleshy part of the pumpkin. Discard the skin.
Step #8: Puree the pumpkin in a blender or food processor. Strain with cheesecloth or a coffee filter if it is too watery; or heat in a pan on your stove until it reaches the desired consistency. It can now be frozen or used immediately.