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Several times I've seen recipes from the United States that call for canned pumpkin which isn't widely available in Australia. From research I see fresh butternut pumpkin / squash which is available should be a good substitute but I've found conflicting ideas on the best consistency and cooking method and I've never eaten canned pumpkin for comparison.

If I was to say halve a butternut pumpkin, remove the seeds and roast until it was easy to scoop out the flesh with a fork would that be a good substitute? I'm unclear as to whether boiling or roasting would be best, whether it should be puréed or somewhat chunky and if any other additional ingredients are required to best imitate the flavour of canned pumpkin?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Either boiling or roasting would work, but roasting may be less work (since you don't have to peel and dice the squash). Roasting may also give you better flavor.

Here is one recipe for homemade pumpkin puree, from Alton Brown, but the basic technique is very simple:

  1. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds and loose pumpkin... erm... guts
  2. Roast the pumpkin, until it is soft, cut side down
  3. Cool
  4. Scoop out the flesh
  5. Puree

Please also see our very own blog entry by Derobert, describing the process in detail. He recommends a second bake of the puree, to reduce its water content and more closely resemble the canned product. This will of course also intensify the pumpkin flavor.

No additional spices or flavoring are required; they will typically be added in the recipes wehere you use the pumpkin.

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