DIY Seminole Pumpkin Pie and Puree

Photos of the steps taken to make the puree

Traditionally grown by the Calusa, Creek, and Miccosukee peoples, Seminole pumpkins remain one of the tastiest and most reliable pumpkins for Florida gardens. Thanks to their thick skin, Seminole pumpkins can be stored whole for a couple months, even in Florida’s humid climate. In a dry location with good ventilation they can be stored for up to a year. If you can resist cooking them that long.

Follow the recipe below to make a Seminole pumpkin puree that you can substitute for traditional pumpkin puree in your favorite pie recipe. Each pound of pumpkin makes about 3/4th of a cup of puree.

  1. Line a sheet pan with foil and preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut the Seminole pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. (You can save these seeds and add Seminole pumpkin to your garden next spring.) You may want to cut larger pumpkins into quarters to make baking more manageable.
  3. Bake the Seminole pumpkin pieces for 45-60 minutes. Remove them from the oven when the flesh is soft and the pumpkin’s shape begins to slump. The edges may begin to brown, but they shouldn’t burn.
  4. Once the pumpkin has cooled enough to be handled, scoop out the flesh.
  5. The flesh of Seminole pumpkins usually contains more water than traditional pie pumpkins. If the scooped-out flesh looks watery, remove the excess moisture by squeezing it in cheese cloth and letting the moisture run out.
  6. Using an immersion blender, puree the drained pumpkin until it is smooth. The final texture should be thick and hold its shape when molded with a spoon. If you do not have an immersion blender, a food processor, or even a whisk, will work as well.

Once your Seminole pumpkin puree is complete, it will keep fresh in the refrigerator for a couple of days. If pie-making season is still far away, store the puree in your freezer; it should keep for 8-12 months frozen.

If you’d like to grow Seminole pumpkins yourself, you’re in luck! This hearty squash can make it through our relentless summer heat and grows beautifully in all regions of Florida. Learn how to add Seminole pumpkin to your yard in the link below.

For another Thanksgiving favorite you can grow at home, check out our article on roselle. Often called “Florida cranberry,” the calyces of the roselle flower are used to make a variety of jams, teas, and even a substitute holiday dressing.

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