How to Bake a Pumpkin for Pie

Pumpkin pies are delicious, and a classic Thanksgiving dessert. In fact, many families believe it wouldn't be the holiday season without at least one pumpkin pie! This pie is even more delicious when made with a fresh pumpkin, roasted until smooth and velvety.


  • Baking pumpkin
  • Kosher salt


  1. Image titled Bake a Pumpkin for Pie Step 1
    Get yourself a pumpkin. It should be relatively small. Some varieties to consider are the Sugar Pie, Jarrahdale, or Queensland Blue.
  2. Image titled Bake a Pumpkin for Pie Step 2
    Cut the pumpkin into quarters with a large chef's knife or cleaver. If you're worried about cutting off a digit, rest the knife on the pumpkin and gently tap the blade with a rubber mallet until it is properly segmented.
  3. Image titled Bake a Pumpkin for Pie Step 3
    With a large metal spoon, scrape the seeds out of the pumpkin, then sprinkle the quarters with kosher salt.
  4. Image titled Bake a Pumpkin for Pie Step 4
    Place them on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes, or until a paring knife can be easily inserted and removed from the pumpkin.
  5. Image titled Bake a Pumpkin for Pie Step 5
    Remove the baking sheet to a cooling rack and cool the pumpkin for 1 hour. Using a large spoon, remove the roasted flesh of the pumpkin from the skin into the bowl of a food processor. Process until the flesh is smooth, 3 to 4 minutes. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.
  6. Image titled Bake a Pumpkin for Pie Step 6
    The night before using the purée, place it in a large, fine-meshed strainer lined with cheesecloth set over a bowl. Allow it to drain until there is about 3/4 cup of liquid in the bottom of the bowl. If extra liquid needs to be drained, you can cook it over medium heat for 4-5 minutes.
  7. Image titled Bake a Pumpkin for Pie Final


  • Don't skip the salt, it helps soften the pumpkin and pull moisture out of the flesh.
  • It will be watery before straining, so make sure not to skip that step unless you like watery pie!
  • If you did forget to strain the pumpkin before making the pie filling, add a level tablespoon of cornstarch to the filling. It will firm up the filling while it bakes.

Things You'll Need

  • Half-sheet pan
  • Foil or parchment paper
  • Food processor
  • Large metal spoon

Article Info

Categories: Baking