Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Canning 101: Pumpkin

Be sure to save your seeds for roasting or planting.
We can't go through pumpkin week without a post on canning pumpkin at home. Store bought pumpkin is so expensive and I love, love, love pumpkin dishes. I have been canning pumpkin for several years now and up until this year I always pureed my pumpkin for canning. Last year I came across some research from the National Center for Home Food Preservation stating that it is not recommended to mash or puree pumpkin for home canning. You can find out more about the science behind it here. So because we always want to do things as safely as possible this year I am canning my pumpkin in cubes. Here is the method I use.

Use an ice cream scoop to depulp your pumpkin.

First cut your pumpkin in half. Look at all the seeds this one had. I was very excited and since this was a farmer's market pie pumpkin I collected the seeds for my garden next year. Yay! Clean out the pumpkin pulp, an ice cream scoop works great for this.
Remove the rind from the pumpkin.

Peel your pumpkin, I just used a vegetable peeler to get all of the rind off.
Cut into 1 inch cubes.

Cut your pumpkin into cubes (about 1 inch in size). Put into a large saucepan.
Par Boil your pumpkin, for 2 minutes.

Fill your saucepan with water enough to cover the pumpkin. Bring to a boil and allow it to simmer for 2 minutes.
Put pumpkin along with cooking liquid into jars.

Fill your prepared jars (clean and sterile) with your pumpkin and cooking liquid, leaving about 1/2 inch head space. Wipe off rims and place prepared lids and rings onto each jar.

Process in a Pressure Cooker - Home Canned Pumpkin

Process your pumpkin in a pressure cooker (pints 55 minutes and quarts 90 minutes). Check here to find the appropriate amount of pressure to use for your altitude.

When you are ready to use your pumpkin simply drain off the canning liquid and mash or puree.

Pumpkin also freezes well so if you want to mash or puree your pumpkin you can and simply stick it into suitable freezer containers.


Lisa said...

Fantastic! I LOVE anything pumpkin too! Do you always have to pressure cook it? Are there certain pumpkins that work better than other kinds? (Dad always plants the kind that get huge so they are fun for Halloween)

Shaun-ta' said...

I think the smaller pie pumpkins work best for canning, they seem to be a bit more flavorful to me but I have canned the large ones too and they worked out just fine. Last year all I canned was the bigger ones because that is what we had from Halloween. Yes for safety, you have to pressure cook all pumpkin and winter squash, because it is low in acidity.