Wringing Out Canned Pumpkin Purée Is Crucial For Chewy Treats

Canned pumpkin purée is a holiday staple, conveniently lending a sweet and earthy flavor to everything from classic pumpkin pie to decadent pumpkin tiramisu. It is also quite a moist ingredient, which can be desirable in many recipes. In others, however, this excess moisture can drastically alter the texture of your baked goods, leaving you with a fluffy, cakey dessert where you were seeking a dense and chewy one. This is why we recommend you squeeze the extra moisture out of your pumpkin purée when using it in these types of recipes.

Water is a powerful tool in baking, and pumpkin has a lot of it. The average pumpkin can be anywhere from about 80 to 95% water. When water is heated in an oven, it converts into steam, which — along with baking soda or baking powder — can act as a leavener, creating air bubbles and resulting in a light and fluffy crumb, like that of a cake. To get fewer air bubbles and thus, a denser baked good, you need to reduce the amount of steam, which means reducing the amount of water by drying out your canned pumpkin purée.

How to dry out canned pumpkin

One quick and easy method to remove water from pumpkin purée is by wringing it out. To do this, measure out the pumpkin needed for your specific recipe and place it onto a cheesecloth. In a pinch, a large, sturdy paper towel, an old t-shirt, or a fine mesh sieve will also do the trick. Bundle up the cloth, then squeeze the pumpkin so that any excess water is expelled. Do this as many times as you would like until you are satisfied with the dryness of the purée.

A second method for making your canned purée less moist is by roasting it in the oven. This will dehydrate the pumpkin while also caramelizing its natural sugars to make the purée even more delectable. Simply spread it in a thin layer on a baking tray and pop it in a 325-degree Fahrenheit oven for about half an hour.