After you halve the pumpkins and clean them out, cut the quarters into halves, the halves into chunks
I know, you thought I was going to dance. No, sorry - this is a cooking site.
We grow many things on Walnut Ridge Farm. One of my favorite times is right after the Sugar Pumpkin harvest, in the late Fall. The reason this is one of my favorite times is that I will be breaking down those special small, sweet and fragrant members of the squash family of good eating. Sugar pumpkins are sometimes called 'baking pumpkins'.
For the following year, then, we can make cookies, breads, cakes, pies, soups and sauces using the delicious thawed puree. I want to share the easiest method I have found to have fresh, rather than institutional canned pumpkin year 'round.
You can follow the procedure for virtually any squash you want to freeze. Too much money is spent buying canned regular pumpkin, when for a few minutes of effort, you can boast that you made this pie with your own pumpkin, even better if you plant a couple of seeds in your back yard in the Spring.
- (Sugar) pumpkins - how many is whatever you grow or buy
- 1 double boiler
- 1 very sharp chef's knife
- 1 very sharp paring or utility knife
- 1 good vegetable peeler (optional -some folks like to peel before steaming)
- 1 measuring cup
- 1 ice cream scoop or sturdy stainless spoon
- 1 flexible spatula
- 1 box of heavy duty gallon freezer bags
- Get the water boiling in your double boiler. No double boiler? Put your collander onto of a pot big enough to hold the collander and stuff a kitchen (clean) towel between the collander and pot to force the steam to escape through the holes in the collander). Be careful that no towel hangs over the pot to the point where you might have a fire. OK - go buy a double boiler...
- Using the chef's knife, cut the pumpkin in half, starting just to the side of the stem
- Using the chef's knife (if you are proficient) or the paring or utility knife, cut around the stem and discard it
- using the heavy duty spoon, scoop out all the seeds and core fibers (we usually save seeds for next Spring...hint)
- Using the chef's knife cut each half of the pumpkin in half at it's "equator", quartering the pumpkins
- Cut each quarter into 2-3 inch squares (this will make the pureeing a little easier)
- fill the top of the double boiler with the chunks of pumpkin - be sure the unpeeled shell side is down on that first layer. The remainder can go in any way at all. Don't fill abover the rim
- after about 15 minutes, test the softness or yieid of the top layer of pumpkin flesh - if the fork goes in easily, all is done.
- Remove the top basket and dump the steamed pumkin into a large bowl to cool.
- When cooled, you will easily be able to remove the flesh to a separate with a thumb or the spoon. Discard the skin
- Using your immesion blender or a food processor, puree the flesh in batches
- Fill the measuring cup with 1 or 2 cups of pumpkin puree and spatula it into a freezer bag and seal, removing as much air as possible if you don't have a vacuum sealer. (Its your house - your family - you can use a staw-in-the-corner-of -he-ziplock bag method of removing the air)
- I strongly recommend that you make both 1 and 2 cup bags - some recipes will require 3 or 5 cups of puree...
- Label the gallon bags for content and date of processing and then put the bags in the freezer and start research recipes
|Amount Per Recipe||%DV|
|Recipe Size 132g|
|Calories from Fat 131||48%|
|Total Fat 14.52g||18%|
|Saturated Fat 8.96g||36%|
|Trans Fat 0.0g|
|Total Carbs 31.15g||8%|
|Dietary Fiber 0.9g||3%|