Homemade Pumpkin and Piloncillo Puree

Combine the delicious flavors of pumpkin, piloncillo, and fall spices to create a sweet and flavorful puree perfect for empanadas, pies, and other tasty desserts.
Pumpkin and piloncillo puree with a whole pumpkin and piloncillo cones in the background

Homemade Pumpkin and Piloncillo Puree

I have no problem using store-bought pumpkin puree but making your own is extremely easy and, in my opinion, homemade just tends to taste better. In this case making your own is a must because we are not just dealing with plain ol’ pureed pumpkin. In this recipe, we are combining the delicious flavors of pumpkin, piloncillo, and fall spices to create a sweet and flavorful dessert.

How Do I Use This Pumpkin Puree?

As I previously stated, this puree is not just mashed winter squash. The mix of ingredients actually create a sweet and decadent puree that is much more of a filling. This recipe is great in pumpkin empanadas and can also be used in pumpkin pie and other tasty desserts.

My dad has always been a fan of mixing a little bit of this puree with a drizzle of milk and eating it just like a pudding. I must say, I highly recommend trying it this way. It is creamy, sweet, and so good!

The Ingredients

For this recipe you will need:

  • Whole Pumpkin (5 – 7.5 lbs)
  • 3 Large Piloncillo Cones
  • 2 Mexican Cinnamon Sticks
  • 5-7 Whole Cloves
  • Water

Types of Pumpkins to Use

Regular Field Pumpkin

The pumpkin in the pictures is a 7.5 pound field pumpkin, which are those used for carving for Halloween. That is the type of pumpkin my parents always use. These pumpkins are usually easy to find during the fall. You can get quite a big pumpkin and make a good amount of puree for a reasonable price. A pumpkin of this size will make about 5-7 cups of puree.

Sugar Pumpkin

Sugar pumpkins (also called pie pumpkins) can also be used. Even though they are smaller than carving pumpkins, sugar pumpkins have a great flavor and are less stringy and watery. This is especially important if you will be baking with the puree. Sugar pumpkins tend to weigh between 2-4 pounds. So you can use 2 of the larger-sized sugar pumpkins for the exact recipe shown. This will make about 8 cups of puree.

If you’d rather use only one sugar pumpkin (yielding about 4 cups of puree), adjust the ingredients as follows:

    • 2 piloncillo cones
    • 1 Mexican Cinnamon Stick
    • 4 Whole Cloves

Learn more about sugar pumpkins here. 

With that said, either type of pumpkin works in this recipe so use what you can find.

What is Piloncillo?

Piloncillo cones #pumpkinpuree

Piloncillo is unrefined whole cane sugar that is used in Mexico and other parts of Latin America. It has a sweet, caramel-like flavor and although some people compare it to molasses or brown sugar, it does not contain either one of those ingredients.

Piloncillo is typically used to sweeten drinks, baked goods, and various desserts. It melts and dissolves easily when it is heated and adds a delicious rich flavor to recipes, different than that of regular sugar.

You can find piloncillo (sometimes called panela) at Mexican and Latin American markets. It usually comes in loaves, blocks and more commonly in cones of various sizes.

How to Make Pumpkin and Piloncillo Puree

To begin, wash the pumpkin.

Then, cut the pumpkin in half and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.

Cut the pumpkin into large pieces and place the pieces in a large pot.

Add the water, piloncillos, cloves, and cinnamon sticks.

Cook on medium low heat for 45 minutes. As everything cooks, a syrup will begin to form at the bottom of the pot.

Mix every 10-15 minutes to ensure the piloncillo fully dissolves and the pumpkin is mixed with the syrup.

At the 45 minute mark, test the pumpkin with a fork to make sure it is very tender. If it is not, cook for 5-10 minutes longer.

Remove the pumpkin from the pot and allow it to cool. Remove the cloves and discard them. Once the pumpkin is cool, use a spoon to scoop the flesh from the skin.

Add the pumpkin back into the pot. Use an immersion blender or a potato masher to puree the pumpkin with the syrup until it is velvety smooth. Cook on medium-low heat until some of the liquid evaporates and the puree thickens.

Storing the Puree

  • Store the pumpkin puree in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
  • You can also freeze it for 3-6 months, although it does lose some of its quality and flavor over time the longer it stays frozen.

This really is such a deliciously flavorful pumpkin and piloncillo puree that will be great in your pumpkin desserts.

I hope you enjoy!

Please leave me a comment below if you make this or tag me on Instagram @everydaylatina.

Check out these other great treats:

Homemade Pumpkin and Piloncillo Puree

Combine the delicious flavors of pumpkin, piloncillo, and fall spices to create a sweet and flavorful puree perfect for empanadas, pies, and other tasty desserts.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 5 cups
Author Gemma from Everyday Latina

Ingredients

  • 1 5-7.5lbs pumpkin (see notes)
  • 3 large piloncillo cones
  • 2 Mexican cinnamon sticks
  • 5-7 whole cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Instructions

  • Wash the pumpkin. Cut it in half and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.
  • Cut the pumpkin into large pieces and place the pieces in a large pot. Add the water, piloncillos, cloves, and cinnamon sticks.
  • Cook on medium low heat for 45 minutes. Mix every 10-15 minutes to ensure the piloncillo fully dissolves and the pumpkin is mixed with the syrup at the bottom of the pot.
  • At the 45 minute mark, test the pumpkin with a fork to make sure it is very tender. If it is not, cook for 5-10 minutes longer.
  • Remove the pumpkin from the pot and allow it to cool. Remove the cloves and discard them. Once the pumpkin is cool, use a spoon to scoop the flesh from the skin.
  • Add the pumpkin back to the pot. Use an immersion blender or a potato masher to puree the pumpkin with the syrup. Cook the puree on medium-low heat until it thickens.
  • Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to one week or freeze for 3-6 months.

Notes

  • The pumpkin in the pictures is a 7.5 pound carving pumpkin. A pumpkin of this size will make about 5-7 cups of puree.
  • Sugar pumpkins weigh between 2-4 pounds. Use 2 larger-sized sugar pumpkins for the exact recipe shown. This will make about 8 cups of puree.
  • For only one sugar pumpkin (yielding about 4 cups of puree), adjust the ingredients as follows:
    • 1 1/2-2 piloncillo cones
    • 1 Mexican Cinnamon Stick
    • 4 Whole Cloves

 

 

 

 

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