Sunday, October 9, 2011

Canning Pumpkin


Nothing says October like pumpkins! Jack-o'-Lanterns, autumn decorations inside and out, pumpkin pie... Pumpkin stands start cropping up all over and corn mazes, fall festivals, and harvest celebrations abound. When October arrived this year I had to have a pumpkin... or four! I didn't grow any pumpkins this year and I didn't find a harvest... I just went to the grocery store and bought a few... Next year will be different, I'm gonna grow my own... I am! Really I am!

I brought my grocery store harvest home and started the process of canning pumpkin... here's what I did...


The hardest part of preparing pumpkin for canning is peeling and cutting up the fruit (or is pumpkin a vegetable?). I started by cutting each pumpkin in half and removing the seeds and "guts."


I used an ice cream scoop to scrape out all the innards (I read that tip somewhere and it works nicely).


Once I had the seeds and stringy insides scraped out, I cut the pumpkin halves into 3 or 4 pieces and placed them in a huge stockpot (or two... or three) and added water to almost fill the pot(s).


I covered the stockpot and brought the pumpkin and water to a boil, then simmered until the pumpkin flesh was soft.


After cooking for maybe 15 minutes, I drained the pumpkin, reserving the liquid, and allowed the pumpkin to cool until it could be handled without burning my fingers.


Once the pumpkin was cool enough to handle, I peeled it (much easier to peel after cooking!) and cut it into one inch chunks. (Don't puree or mash it, apparently the USDA or FDA or somebody has deemed pureed pumpkin unsafe to can, the denseness of the puree supposedly makes it difficult to heat thoroughly enough for the home canner to safely can it... personally I have my doubts about this, but I was a good girl and followed the safety "rules"... this time)


I returned the pumpkin chunks to the stockpot, added my reserved cooking liquid back in and heated the mixture through again (about 5 minutes of cooking time)

Meanwhile, I sterilized my pint canning jars by heating them in a flat pan of water set on two stove eyes. I simmered my lids in water and kept everything hot until I was ready for them.


Using a slotted spoon, I filled the hot pint jars with pumpkin chunks, leaving a half inch headspace.


I ladled in some of the cooking liquid to fill the jar...


I removed any air bubbles by inserting my plastic air bubble tool (a butter knife works just as well) between the inside of the jar and the pumpkin. I adjusted the half inch headspace by adding more liquid as needed.


I wiped the jar rim and tightened the lids and rings on to fingertip tightness.


Pumpkin, being a low acid food, must be pressure canned. I placed my filled jars into my pressure canner (follow the directions that come with your pressure canner). I processed my pint jars at 10 pounds of pressure for 55 minutes (quarts would be processed for 90 minutes).


After processing, I removed the canner from the heat and let the pressure drop to ZERO... then removed the jars from the canner and set them on a folded dish towel on the counter to cool and to listen for the PING of each successfully sealed jar.


Visions of pumpkin pies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin crunch, and my favorite pumpkin roll fill my mind! Can't wait to whip up all my autumn recipes with my home canned orange loveliness... Pumpkin!

Simple delicious pumpkin to use for a myriad of recipes!

39 comments:

  1. Yummy, look at all that glorious pumpkin!! I don't have a pressure cooker, but last year I did cook, puree and freeze some pumpkin that I've already cooked, so yummy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Even before I knew it was unsafe to can pumpkin puree (my mom used to do it), I preferred frozen pumpkin puree over canned pumpkin puree. Now that you have to can it in chunks for safety, I see no point in canning pumpkin. I just freeze it.

    Did you do pie pumpkins? I'm cheap and buy the jack o'lantern pumpkins. They are a bit more watery but I just adjust liquid in whatever recipe I'm making.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cherish,
      One reason to can...last year I had an upright freezer full of all kinds of things, blueberries, pumpkin, hams, turkeys, etc....went on Christmas vacation for 10 days, breaker tripped and I had one NASTY mess to clean up when we go home!! (That doesn't happen when canning) :)

      Delete
    2. Cherish, canning eliminates the worry of power outages. Plus there is a difference in taste as far as canning and freezing nothing compares to home canned :)

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  3. I bought 3 pie pumpkins and one gigantic jack o'lantern one and mixed them... thicker flesh with the pie pumpkins, but the other is bigger and cheaper! LOL! ~~Granny

    ReplyDelete
  4. That is a whole lotta pumpkin! I never knew the FDA deemed it unsafe to can pumpkin puree. Looks like you are going to have some fun making pumpkin recipes all year!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yes indeed... pumpkin all year! And there are a LOT of new rules handed down from the "powers that be" about home canning safety... much of it I personally have my doubts about. ~~Granny

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I doubt the "Powers that be" also...truth be known, it wouldn't surprise me is Libby's sent a Lobbyist to make them not let anyone make their own so they could stay in business... What a world we live in; The "Powers that be" thinks we simply can not do anything for ourselves. I fear the future with the current Powers that be." Canning my Pumpkin this am, i have some on the shelves that we use and all is well. Best of luck to all the younger generations.

      Delete
    2. I have been canning pureed pumpkin for years. I haven't poisoned anyone yet!

      Delete
  6. when you use your pumpkin, do you drain all the water off??? Or do you puree it with the rest of the pumpkin chunks?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really depends on what I'm gonna use it for... for pie or something like that, I drain the water off. ~~Granny

      Delete
  7. Do you have to use a pressure canner?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Wendy, you sure do, pumpkin is a low-acid food and must be pressure canned. ~~Granny

      Delete
  8. Did you plant your pumpkin yet? Just wondering. Here in S. Texas we plant now for late Oct-Dec harvest. 100 degrees trying to keep the plants alive....argh .....but the in result will be lots of pumpkins....smile

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, Cindy, we've not planted pumpkins, probably won't this year, I canned so much last year I think we'll skip this season! ~~Granny

      Delete
  9. I did the Puree Squash and it was a mistake. It smelt like siliage and the tops come off after I took the rings off. That was a few years ago and this year I am going to
    try canning squash agian.

    ReplyDelete
  10. So if i am going to make pumpkin puree and freeze it can I make it the same way just freeze it instead or would i need to cook the pumpkin a little bit longer?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Probably wanna cook it a bit longer first. ~~Granny

      Delete
  11. Saw an episode of Iron Chef last week that made pumpkin bread and then turned it into French toast and bread pudding! My son to a class right after that and learned how to make pumpkin Creme Brulee...it was amazing! (Just more reasons to can some pumpkin).
    Question: How long is the shelf life of properly canned pumpkin? Also, any tips for the seeds? I've made dried pumpkin seeds before, but it's more of a guess about how to do it.

    thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I too would like to know how long the shelf life is :) thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shelf life is at least a year, probably more. ~~Granny

      Delete
  13. I too would like to know how long the shelf life is :) thanks

    ReplyDelete
  14. I too would like to know how long the shelf life is :) thanks

    ReplyDelete
  15. I too would like to know how long the shelf life is :) thanks

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have used pumpkin I canned 2 years later. Just ss good as day it was canned. Yummy!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thank you for your information on how to can the pumpkin. I am canning pumpkin for the first time and your blog was very helpful. I to am planning on making pumpkin pies and brownies with pumpkin in it and not oil and eggs. Yummy good!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks for this great post. I am going to try canning my own pumpkins this year. I'm one of the "younger generation" and really enjoy canning and preserving. I think I'll be visiting your site more in the future!

    Smiles,

    Meisha

    ReplyDelete
  19. Once you might have determined what variety of restrictions, if any,
    which you are performing with, you happen to be prepared to get started on
    looking.

    Here is my site; bowflex selecttech 552 dumbbells sale

    ReplyDelete
  20. The good thing is not, that which you will need are adjustable dumbbells.



    Take a look at my site: Http://Www.Getfitnstrong.Com

    ReplyDelete
  21. Even your nosy brother will not likely obtain your solution!


    Also visit my website; dumbbell sets

    ReplyDelete
  22. Lifting a set of 60kg (132lbs) dumbbells off the floor is not any suggest
    feat.

    My blog ... dumbbell sets

    ReplyDelete
  23. The cables for that Lat Tower have a built-in storage slot in the higher Lat
    Tower spot.

    My site ... http://www.getfitnstrong.com/adjustable-dumbbells/

    ReplyDelete
  24. My Aunt lives in Ohio and there is an Amish store about a mile from her that sells Pumpkin Butter! It is amazing! I guess I would have to make a small batch and refrigerate if I ever find a recipe! And then have reserved pumpkin for other goodies later!

    ReplyDelete
  25. After pressure canning I have a few jars in which the pumpkin has apparently absorbed the water and instead of about one inch of head space there is now about 4 to 5 inches of pumpkin without liquid encasing it. Should I be concerned? Should I add liquid and recan?

    ReplyDelete
  26. Pumpkin butter tastes great, but I just can it like my jams, etc.
    Also, I have used pumpkin I canned myself several years after. I made pumpkin pie with the last jar of 2009 pumpkin just last month, because I found one in the back of the canning cupboard that I'd missed. If it's done properly it keeps well.

    ReplyDelete
  27. What if I puree and cook my pumpkin at the same time in my Vita-Mix, will that make the puree safer?

    ReplyDelete
  28. I personally don't have a problem with canning pumpkin puree... but the rulemakers say NO to pumpkin puree of any kind. ~~Granny

    ReplyDelete

html, body, div, span, applet, object, iframe, h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6, p, blockquote, pre, a, abbr, acronym, address, big, cite, code, del, dfn, em, font, img, ins, kbd, q, s, samp, small, strike, strong, sub, sup, tt, var, b, u, i, center, dl, dt, dd, ol, ul, li, fieldset, form, label, legend, table, caption, tbody, tfoot, thead, tr, th, td { margin: 0; padding: 0; border: 0; outline: 0; font-size: 100%; vertical-align: baseline; background: transparent; } body { line-height: 1; } ol, ul { list-style: none; } blockquote, q { quotes: none; } /* remember to define focus styles! */ :focus { outline: 0; } /* remember to highlight inserts somehow! */ ins { text-decoration: none; } del { text-decoration: line-through; } /* tables still need 'cellspacing="0"' in the markup */ table { border-collapse: collapse; border-spacing: 0; }