How to Make How to freeze pumpkin from your garden (directions, recipe, with photos) - Easily! With Step-by-step Photos, Recipe, Directions, Ingredients and Costs

This month's notes: November 2014: Apples are still available!  Frosts and freezes have begun, so don't wait . Corn mazes and hayrides are still going in most places through the first week of November. Make your own homemade ice cream including low fat, low sugar and other flavors))  Have fun, eat healthier and better tasting, and save money by picking your own locally grown fruit and vegetables, and then using our easy canning and freezing directions

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How to Cook a Pumpkin to Have Pumpkin Puree to Freeze for Recipes Later

Click here for a PDF print version

You probably take canned pumpkin for granted.  You're there, the can is there, there's a pumpkin on the label... open it and mix it up with spices to make a pie, right.  Ah, but a pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread made from a fresh pumpkin tastes so much better than the glop that was processed last year! Here's how to do it, complete instructions in easy steps and completely illustrated. And it is much easier than you think, using my "patented" tips and tricks! 

Directions for Making Pumpkin Filling from Scratch To Freeze or Use Fresh

Ingredients and Equipment

  • a pie pumpkin (see step 1)
  • A sharp, large serrated knife
  • an ice cream scoop
  • a large microwaveable bowl or large pot

Recipe and Directions

Step 1 - Get your pie pumpkin

"Pie pumpkins" are smaller, sweeter, less grainy textured pumpkins than the usual jack-o-lantern types.  grocery stores usually carry them in late September through December in the U.S.   Note: the Libby's can of cooked pumpkin is just there for reference - it is the small can, so that gives you an idea of the size of a typical pie pumpkin.  They're only about 8 inches in diameter.

Just like selecting any squash, look for one that is firm, no bruises or soft spots, and a good orange color.

Yield: Pie pumpkins are small, usually only 6 inches in diameter.  You can usually obtain about 2 or 3 cups or puree  per pumpkin.

 

Step 2 - Prepare the pumpkin for cooking

Wash the exterior of the pumpkin in cool or warm water, no soap.

Cut the pumpkin in half.  A serrated knife and a sawing motion works best - a smooth knife is more likely to slip and hurt you!

 

 

Step 3 - Scoop out the seeds...

And scrape the insides.  You want to get out that stringy, dangly stuff that coats the inside surface.  I find a heavy ice cream scoop works great for this.

Note: SAVE THE SEEDS:

The seeds can be used either to plant pumpkins next year, or roasted to eat this year! Place them in a bowl of water and rub them between your hands.  then pick out the orange buts (throw that away) and drain off the water. Spread them out on a clean towel or paper towel to dry and they're ready to save for next year's planting or roast.  Click here for roasting instructions! (opens in a new window)

 

Step 4 - Put it in a microwaveable bowl

Remove the stem, and put the pumpkin into a microwaveable. You may need to cut the pumpkin further to make it fit.  The fewer the number of pieces, the easier it will to scoop out the cooked pumpkin afterwards.

Put a couple of inches of water in the bowl, cover it, and put in the microwave. 

 

Step 5 - Cook the pumpkin until soft

Cook for 15 minutes on high, check to see if it is soft, then repeat in smaller increments of time until it is soft enough to scoop the innards out.  Normally it takes 20 or 30 minutes in total.

Note: You CAN cook it on the stovetop; it will just take longer (almost twice as long)

 

 

 

Step 6 - Scoop out the cooked pumpkin

Using a broad, smooth spoon, (such as a tablespoon) gently lift and scoop the cooked pumpkin out of the skin.  It should separate easily an in fairly large chucks, if the pumpkin is cooked enough.

 

 

Step 7 - Puree the pumpkin

To get a nice, smooth consistency, I use a Pillsbury hand blender.  A regular blender works, too (unless you made a few frozen daiquiris and drank them first..). Or even just a hand mixer with time and patience.

With the hand blender, it just takes 2 or 3 minutes!

 

 

 

 

Step 8 - Done with the pumpkin!

The pumpkin is now cooked and ready for freezing or pie recipe.  Get the frozen daiquiris out from step 7 and take a break! :)

You can pack it containers, like Ziploc bags or plastic containers, exclude as much air as you can, and freeze it!

... or to start making tasty treats.

how about ...

 

I love the FoodSavers (see this page for more information) with their vacuum sealing!  Here's an example of one model:

FoodSaver V2840 Advanced Design

This one is the least expensive of the Food Saver models that has all the advamced features, like automatic bag detection and sealing, which makes it faster and easier to seal.  And yes, you can seal and freeze foods with liquids (just freeze the unsealed bag in the freezer overnight, THEN seal it!)

About $135
4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews 

Features

  • Home vacuum-packaging system vacuums, seals, and shuts off automatically
  • Upright vacuum-sealing appliance with SmartSeal technology keeps food fresh longer
  • Push-button operation; built-in roll storage and cutter; automatic liquid detection
  • Crush-free instant seal; 2 vacuum speeds; 2 seal levels; progress lights; integrated bag opener
  • Marinate and canister modes; includes 3 quart-size bags, 2 gallon-size bags, and a roll of bag material
  • Measures approximately 6 by 18-8/9 by 10-2/5 inches; 1-year limited warranty


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Picking Tips

[General picking tips and a guide to each fruit and vegetable] [How much do I need to pick? (Yields - how much raw makes how much cooked or frozen)] [Selecting the right varieties to pick] [All about apple varieties - which to pick and why!]  [Picking tips for Vegetables] [ Strawberry picking tips] [ Blueberries picking tips]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illustrated Canning, Freezing, Jam Instructions and Recipes

All About Home Canning, Freezing and Making Jams, Pickles, Sauces, etc. ] [FAQs - Answers to common questions and problems] [Recommended books about home canning, jam making, drying and preserving!] [Free canning publications to download and print]

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This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You'll never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)! There is also a simple kit with just the canner and rack, and a pressure canner, if you want to do vegetables (other than tomatoes). To see more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!
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