Okay, I know pumpkins are not exactly in season, but it am going to be using some of what I froze so I figured I should probably finally share how to do it. The only way pumpkin should be canned is if you do it in cubes like I did the yams. To can purée is not reccamended as it is so dense the heat cannon properly penetrate to the center of the jar. I know some people do it, I personally prefer not to take the risk. Pumpkin butter is just as thick and also should be frozen instead of processed. Freezing it is easy and you know that you only have one ingredient in it, pure, unadulterated, pumpkin.
Starting begins with choosing small baking pumpkins. The large ones used for carving don’t have as much meat and it tends to be stringy and not as sweet. Prepping only requires that you wash the vegetable and then cut in half, removing all the seeds. Set them aside because you can roast them later! Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place each half upside down on the sheet. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake until cooked through.
The pumpkin is done when the top begins to sink down. This means the flesh is cooked and the skin will just slide right off. Remove and allow to cool for about 5’minutes, then just peel the skin.
Cut it up and toss it into a mixing bowl. This works best if the meat is still warm. Keep mixing until it is smooth and remove any strings that remain.
Allow it to fully cool before scooping into freeze bags. I do it in 2 cup increments, but I suggest doing amounts according to your favorite recipe whether it is a pie or muffins. Push out all the air and smooth out totally flat. This lets you stack them in the freezer and conserves space. Be sure to label each bag with contents and date.
Now for those seeds we set to the side. Remove as much of the strings as you can and wash the seeds in warm water. You want to remove as much of the slime as you can.
Spread onto a sheet of parchment paper placed on a cookie sheet. Place into a preheated oven till dry and slightly browned. While still warm, sprinkle with sea salt and store in a jar.
Use the seeds in trail mix or just to snack on. They are great for car trips.
I hope that come next Fall you are up for freezing your own Pumpkin purée. It is a thing of beauty and having it in the freezer gives you the opportunity to bless your family with nummy goodness.