Saturday, January 7, 2012

Pumpkin Canning Finished for 2011

Okay. The canning of pumpkin for 2011 was finally finished a couple of weeks ago. Yay! All in all, I got 4 jelly jars of seeds, both roasted and brined, 15 pints of pumpkin puree for pies or bread, 7 jelly jars of pumpkin butter, and enough puree for 2 pumpkin pies to bake tomorrow from two pumpkins.

One of the pumpkins was a monster pumpkin that Uncle Charles gave me (Thank You!) , and one was a regular-sized one that I rescued from shooting practice from the neighbors across the street. "No! Stop! Don't shoot that pumpkin!" They had 5 or 6 so didn't mind me saving one from an explosive death.

It took me quite a few days to get through the process of cutting, seeding, baking, skinning and pureeing (is that a word?) both of the pumpkins. It took hammering the knife with the meat pounding mallet to get through the monster pumpkin. On the right is the pan of the cooked pumpkin.

Max talked about his mother cooking their on the stove when he was young. I wanted to try a method of removing the seeds and baking the pumpkin before removing the skin so that skinning wouldn't be so difficult.

The monster pumpkin was so large, I could only bake 1/2 of it at a time. Each bake took almost 2 hours. The normal pumpkin fit in the oven in one baking. So all in all it took 6 hours to bake the pumpkin. However, I didn't have to try to scoop raw pumpkin away from the skin. Skinning was very easy after the baking was done. I could also do other things while the baking was going on.

After the quarters or halves were baked, I easily skinned the pumpkin meat and then pureed the meat in a food processor. Note for simmering the puree:  Use a deep pan; this stuff spatters like its only purpose in life is to burn you. It took a few days to get the puree canned, the butter recipe figured out and canned, and the seeds done. Remember that there were other things going on - plumping repairs, Mother care and old age, sigh.

The recipe I used was adapted from one I found on the internet; however, it was changed extensively. Perhaps my pumpkin butter doesn't taste like the "real" stuff, but it sure is good.

Pumpkin Butter

3 cps pumpkin puree
3/4 cp Tampico Citrus Punch (orange juice type liquid)
1 cp sugar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
pinch of powdered cloves (to taste)
pinch of cinnamon (to taste)

Combine all ingredients in saucepan and simmer until thickened.


Cherizac said...

I tried the baking method this year too; my first attempt was an epic fail. The instructions didn't say to put water in the pan, or to place the pumpkin meat down; it came out hard and dry and nasty. I read some more on the method and tried again; awesome! I still have two more pumpkins to do; maybe today.

I still read the blog whenever you post; my commenting is lacking, I"m sorry. Just don't have the mental energy these days; but still think of you often; struggling along with Lola and all you have had to put up with, and I light candles with intent for you guys.

Jola Gayle said...

Thanks, Cheri. Good luck with the store, and I'm waiting for your next blog post. Oh, and try the pumpkin butter; it's amazing. The boys will love it.