Pumpkin is a great vegetable to preserve whether you’re overwintering in a pantry, canning chunks or dehydrating chips or pumpkin leather. It’s so versatile in your food storage program! For space saving and ease of use, I really enjoy dehydrating a lot of my pumpkin harvest. Let me show you how to dehydrate pumpkin AND make a pie out it.
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To Dehydrate Pumpkin
There are two basic methods for dehydrating pumpkin, or any hard-skin winter squash:
- Dehydrated Pumpkin Puree
- Dehydrated Raw Pumpkin
By the way, did you know that most canned pumpkin isn’t pumpkin at all? It’s true – read this article from Learning and Yearning on that topic and be the smarty-pants at the table on Thanksgiving. Read this article from Joybilee Farm to learn the merits of other winter squash for feeding your family.
To learn to grow your own winter squash, please visit this article from Small Footprint Family.
Dehydrated Pumpkin Puree
I like both methods and do one or the other based on time and how many kid-helpers I have in the kitchen that day. All of these steps are good to teach to children. The first place to include them is in the preparing of the winter squash – peeling, chopping, laying out on dehydrator sheets. They especially love scooping out pumpkin guts.
To dehydrate cooked pumpkin, or pumpkin puree, use the following instructions:
- Wash winter squash and slice in half, removing seeds.
- Place face down in a baking dish with 1/2 inch of water in the bottom.
- Bake at 350F/177C for 45-60 minutes.
- Remove carefully and rest until cool to the touch.
- Scrap squash flesh into a bowl and mix smooth with an immersion blender. You may also use your food processor.
- Spread onto Paraflex dehydrator sheets to 1/4 inch thickness – be as precise as you can, especially in the middle.
- *Dehydrate at 140F/60C for 3 hours; reduce temperature to 130F/54C for 3-6 more hours.
*Dehydrating times come from Shelle Wells book, Prepper’s Dehydrator Handbook. She’s really inspired me to do more dehydrating this year!
Dehydrated Raw Pumpkin Strips
To learn how to dehydrate pumpkin pieces, please see the video instructions below.
- Peel and slice winter squash to 1/4 inch pieces.
- Place evenly on dehydrator racks and process the same as for 1/4 inch thick puree described above.
- Store as above; don’t powder until needed for a recipe.
To Powder Dehydrated Pumpkin:
- Loosely place six cups of dehydrated pumpkin into your blender body. Don’t tamp down or pack tightly.
- Blend on high, stopping periodically to loosen and cool contents.
- Blend until smooth.
You can use dehydrated pumpkin powder to easily add vegetable to any soup, stew, or casserole. Here are several Savory Winter Squash recipes from Homespun Seasonal Living – see what you can do with your dehydrated pumpkin!
To Re-Hydrate Dehydrated Pumpkin:
- Place 1/3 cup of powdered pumpkin into a bowl.
- Pour at least 2/3 cup of very hot water over the powdered pumpkin and mix well.
- Allow the mixture to sit for 15-20 minutes to thicken and soften.
- Check texture; add a little more hot water if you think the mixture is too dry for your needs. For the pumpkin pie recipe below, you want a thick mixture -not runny or loose.
- Incidentally, to re-hydrate non-powdered dehydrated pumpkin, pour boiling water over the pieces and let stand for about a half hour.
This re-hydrated pumpkin could be used in our Gourmet Pumpkin Marshmallow Recipe – click here to make those!
Pumpkin Pie Recipe with Dehydrated Pumpkin
I would eat pumpkin custard without the crust but my family prefers it with crust in a traditional pie. Either way, this recipe is delicious! It’s heavy on the spice, so reduce that if you’re not a fan of cloves.
Learn to dehydrate pumpkin to save space in your pantry. Re-hydrate and powder the dehydrated pumpkin to make any pumpkin recipe, including this delicious pumpkin pie. This is real foods recipe with no evaporated milk or refined sugars.
- 2/3 Cup Dehydrated pumpkin, powdered
- 1 1/3 Cup Very hot water
- 1/2 Cup *Sour or home-cultured cream
- 1 Cup Heavy whipping cream
- 2 Fresh eggs
- 3/4 Cup **Raw sugar - coconut, Rapadura or Succanat are all fine, too
- 2 tsp. Cinnamon
- 1 tsp. each of Nutmeg and cloves
Preheat oven to 425F/218C.
Place powdered pumpkin into glass bowl and add hot water. Allow to sit and plump for 15-20 minutes while you mix the other ingredients.
Place all ingredients into your blender, or into a bowl to blend with an immersion blender. May also use a hand-mixer.
Blend or mix well. Add in pumpkin and blend well.
Pour into prepared crust and bake at 425F/218C for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350F/177C and bake for further 50-55 minutes.
If you like eating it hot and don't mind a slightly wobbly texture, let the pie rest for 10 minutes and dig in. If you'd like a firmer set, let the pie cool on the counter or in the fridge for an hour.
*If you don't have sour or cultured cream, make up the difference with more heavy cream.
**If you want to use maple syrup instead of granulated sugar, start at 1/2 cup. Add more a few tablespoons at a time until you reach desired sweetness.
Pumpkin Pie Crust
For pie crust, I use the recipe in Alana Chernilla’s book, Homemade Pantry. It is, hands down, the best pie crust recipe I’ve ever tried. You only need flour, salt, butter and vinegar.
Do you have a pie crust tip for our readers? Feel free to leave it in the comments below and I just might include it in the article!