I keep a can of pumpkin puree in my pantry year-round, but usually I don’t find myself reaching for it until the crisp September air settles in. Once fall arrives, I might go through a can a week.
Canned pumpkin puree works beautifully in both savory and sweet recipes. For me, though, nothing beats fall desserts made with pumpkin. That inexpensive can might become a classic pumpkin pie, of course, but also a cream cheese-filled pumpkin roll, a pumpkin sheet cake with chocolate bourbon buttercream, seven-layer pumpkin bars, a dense pumpkin flan, silky pumpkin ice cream...
It's easy to get swept up in all the creative ways to use pumpkin puree, but first, let’s touch on a few pumpkin dessert basics.