Pumpkin is something that really shouldn't be canned. (Because of the thickness of the puree is hard for it to be pressurized correctly.) But that doesn't mean you can't preserve it! The safer alternative to canning pumpkin is freezing it! It's pretty easy, there are only a few steps.
What you need:
- Food Processor
- Cookie Sheet
- Freezer Bags
I love sugar baby pumpkins. They've always grown really well for me. In 2010 I had 7 that matured before it froze. This year I ended up finding some at my local grocery store since my garden fried.
Wash off the pumpkins. You don't need to do a heavy scrubbing, just get the dirt off the outsides.
Cut the pumpkins in half.
Scoop out the "guts" of each pumpkin. make sure you don't scoop out any of the meat, just clean out the stringy stuff and the seeds. Don't throw these away! Make Dried Pumpkin Seeds!
Put the cleaned out halves of the pumpkin in the oven at about 375F.
Cook them until the pass the "Potato doneness test" poke the meat with a fork and wait until it feels like a cooked potato.
A fully cooked pumpkin should clean out really easily. You can almost peel the skin right off. Put all the meat into a bowl.
Stick the meat in a food processor and add a little water. Process it in small batches and it will work better. The water will help the pumpkin puree better. The consistency should be like baby food.
Put about 2 cups of pumpkin in each freezer bag and label. 2 cups should be close to one can of store boughten pumpkin so you can easily use each bag in exchange for a can in a recipe. Flatten out each bag of pumpkin as you lay it in the freezer so it freezes flat.
Have you ever tried preserving pumpkin? How much do you generally try and put away each year?
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