Why Your Homemade Pumpkin Puree Is Ruining Your Baked Goods

With the holidays just around the corner, the pressure to entertain guests and serve up the best desserts feels overwhelming. No treat can impress your loved ones and strike up the feeling of autumn like a solid pumpkin pie, but this task seems easier said than done. Most of us take the simple route and pick up a pie from the store, and the numbers don't lie. According to Business Insider, Americans bought 5.3 million pumpkin pies from Costco in 2015, with 1.75 million of those baked goods getting purchased in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.

With so many bakeries and stores serving up seasonal pumpkin confections, the challenge of pulling off the perfect pumpkin pie bake at home yields some very exclusive bragging rights if the dessert comes out great. While many home chefs spend time perfecting the ultimate crust, the key lies in your pumpkin puree. Star Advertiser pinpointed the exact problem — fresh and even canned pumpkin purees contain way too much water. With so much liquid, our baked goods now face a gamut of problems, including not baking properly, losing flavor, and even falling apart before they make it to the table! Fixing this issue might seem impossible, but fret not, as the solution only requires a few minutes of time and results in some great treats.

How to perfect your pumpkin puree

The key to revitalizing your pumpkin puree lies in drawing out as much moisture as possible. Star Advertiser recommends that you wrap your puree in a cheesecloth or coffee filter and stick a skewer through the sack. Suspend the wrapped-up puree over a bowl and let it drain for at least eight hours, and squeeze out any remaining moisture at the end of the process. These steps ensure you end up with a mouth-watering pie and supercharges the pumpkin flavor. Don't avoid cutting corners when it comes to draining your puree, as a scientific reason exists as to why this step works.

According to Baking Business, the level of moisture in your pie affects the overall humidity, or "dew point," of the oven and actually changes the way your food bakes. The slight changes in moisture appear subtle, but have a high chance of dramatically altering the taste and flavor of anything you bake. When you have the extended family over for the holidays, don't run the risk of serving up a subpar pie. Always draw out as much moisture from your puree as possible for the best baked goods that can turn even the biggest pumpkin haters into fans.