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Oct 18, 2013 06:52 AM

Fresh pumpkin purée?

As part of a school event, I need to bake a big batch of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies or muffins. This time of year, I was wondering if I could buy fresh pumpkin purée at any of the local markets or pumpkin patches - anybody know of a good source? Thanks.

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  1. You may be better off buying a pumpkin and making it yourself.

    I buy the Cavendish (I think) canned pumpkin puree (for pies) and it's fine as far as I know. CI/ATK suggests cooking it a bit to take away the tinny taste.


    4 Replies
    1. re: Davwud

      Thanks Davwud - I'm already baking for about 175 people so I would really prefer a ready-made pumpkin puree. I love the idea of working with a local provider and fresh pumpkins, if such a thing exists.

      1. re: peppermint pate

        Buy canned. Dealing with a pile of pie pumpkins sufficicient to make that much puree puts a pretty low opportunity cost on your time. Just one of those things where a can opener truly is your best friend.

        1. re: Kagemusha

          There must be big tubs available commercially, maybe a bakery would sell you some. So you wouldn't have to wear out your BFF can opener ;)
          I appreciate your desire for fresh/local, it'll be interesting if anyone comes up with something.

      2. re: Davwud

        I've posted this elsewhere already, but if you start with a whole pumpkin, try to find a pie pumpkin - don't know about Ontario, but in Buffalo they're getting easier to find all the time - not just at the farmer's market but also in season in the grocery store (at least in Wegman's).

        They're the size of a bowling ball (or smaller), and almost as heavy. I read that they're bred to be thick-walled, less fibrous and sweet, as opposed to carving pumpkins bred to be thin-walled & fibrous.

        Split it in half longitudinally, clean out the seeds, coat the cut edge with oil spray, and bake cut-side down on a sheet pan at 350 until knife-tender, about 45 min.

        Cut each half in 3 - 4 longitudinal slices, to make it easy to trim off the skin, and try not to eat it all before it gets to your recipe!

      3. Halloween fair? I have to do that too. I'm just excited to be able to bake something at home!

        1. Would you consider going to a large scale local food vegetable and fruit processor like E.D Smith? They used to have a processing plant out in the Niagara fruit region and they processed all the vegetables and fruits there for their food service line. I know waaay back when we had to do some charitable soup kitchen work, we'd use them to help get some fruit fillings for desserts.

          They have a pure pumpkin

          I just wanted to add that it looks like their jam and pie filling facility is still in Ontario near Hamilton (Winona).

          1. Thanks for all the feedback. I went to the Brickworks this market and called a couple of pumpkin farmers but no luck. I briefly flirted with making my own, but after seeing recipes that recommended baking and then draining, plus the quantities I'd need to do along with everything else, I'll be lucky if I can find time to squeeze in the baking itself.

            So choosing to go with seasonal, rather than local and seasonal, I'm going to try using pumpkin puree. I'll keep my eyes open for the ED Smith Variety (have you tried it, Nevy?). I saw that Cooks Illustrated did a taste test with pumpkin purees a number of years back and actually chose Libby's as the best (though ED Smith wasn't in the mix). Anyway, wish me luck! Thanks.

            4 Replies
            1. re: peppermint pate

              ED Smith is available at both Metro & Loblaws. On sale it's either $3.99 or $3.49/tin. I've used it for pumpkin pies and i've been told it's quite good (I've baked for others, pumpkin is a vegetable, not meant for dessert! :o) )

              I imagine it's available at all other grocery stores in the GTA as well. Make sure to check the can - they have both pie filling and pure pumpkin.

              1. re: peppermint pate

                ED Smith's pumpkin puree was on food factory. I'll see if I can find a link. It was neat!

                1. re: peppermint pate

                  I actually like the ED Smith Pure Pumpkin Puree. I've used it a few times when I was helping in the soup kitchen. As for my personal use, I normally use a small amount and I just bake and then puree 2 medium sized kabocha squashes. It's honestly the best thing to use for desserts... it's dried than most pumpkins and it's sweeter too. Very lovely smooth texture as well.

                  1. re: peppermint pate

                    Made pumpkin pie with the pumpkin puree from ED Smith and it was fantastic. I have a half can left which I froze and will be using it to make oatmeal cookies since the puree was such a hit.

                  2. Thanks to all who responded - used the ED Smith pumpkin puree and the cookies were a huge success!