I found 4 longneck pumpkins at the grocery store last week for .99 cents each. If you’re into pumpkin, canned or fresh, you know this is a great deal! I’m sure they were end of season produce, but they were in perfect condition. It was tempting to buy all of them (there were about 10 left) but reality set in and,having prior experience with pumpkins, I knew these types of pumpkins give a LOT of edible pumpkin flesh. I stuck with four.
If you haven’t experimented with freezing your own pumpkins I really encourage you to try it. It’s far easier than you might think.
Now…the reason I write and you read and then you try….freezing pumpkins with step by step pictures.
Step 1: Wash and Dry pumpkins.
Step 2. Put all of the pumpkins in the oven. Learning from my experience you’ll be better off in the long run if you put them in a pan or at least put a pan underneath them to catch the drippings. Otherwise you’re house will fill with smoke, your oven will be caked with burnt pumpkin juice which eventually turns black and if you forget to clean it the next time you bake something the entire house may very well be filled with black smoke. Just put a pan underneath the pumpkins.
Step 3: Bake the pumpkins for about 1 hour on 350 degrees. Check after 45 minutes to see if they are fork tender. This time and temp seems to apply to any amount of pumpkin baking at one time. I’ve baked just one and it took the same time as it did to bake four.
Step 4: Remove pumpkins from the oven and let cool completely.
Tip: The peels will be great in a compost pile, or thrown outside into a space that you hope will grow pumpkins next year.
Step 6: When the pumpkins are peeled and seeded place the pumpkin flesh in a food processor or large container if you want to puree by hand. I use a masher, ‘cuz I’m old fashioned. Step 7: When the pumpkin is entirely finely mashed measure it by the cupful and, using a funnel (this is a wide mouth funnel in the picture) put the puree into a freezer bag. Depending on how much you know you will use in the future, decide what amount you will put in each bag. I put two cupfuls in each freezer bag. Step 8: Before sealing the freezer bag make sure the seam is clean so nothing prevents it from closing tightly. Squeeze the air out of the bag and seal. Step 9: For freezing purposes, flatten each bag before you put it in the freezer. It makes for better storing. Also, WRITE WRITE WRITE the date, amount and ingredient on EACH BAG PEOPLE, which I clearly haven’t done to these bags. I did it after I took the picture. Frozen pumpkin can be used just like canned or fresh pumpkin. When thawing it let it thaw completely and drain the liquid from it before using it.
Check out Jeremy’s Pumpkin Soup Recipe!