Just because it’s December I refuse to come to terms with Pumpkin season being over. Pumpkin season isn’t over just because it’s no longer October. Hello! We have pumpkin pie in November! Either way, I tend to eat pumpkin year round. I make my own canned pumpkin to turn into puree and pumpkin butter which I use for baking and other cooking recipes.
Making canned pumpkin is relatively easy. Sometimes cutting up your pumpkin can prove to be more difficult. Right around Halloween I had about 12 pumpkins I was dealing with. I had some going in the oven, some in the microwave and some boiling in a giant pot on the stove. The microwave was the quickest method for the amount I was cooking at a time, but it was still going to take quite a bit of time to get it all done because of the small amount you can cook at a time.
When cooking pumpkin in the microwave you need to use a rice cooker or something that is steamable; meaning it has holes in the lid. The oven takes the longest because you have to use a roaster type pan and it takes 45 minutes per pan. Oye. That is how I started and for the life of me I don’t know why I didn’t have my light bulb moment sooner. I tackled this subject on National Cheesecake Day and I felt silly, even then. So I had the oven going, the microwave was going in shifts and I still wasn’t getting through these pumpkins quick enough. While leaning over my kitchen counter I happened to look up and see my stock pot that I initially requested for Christmas to boil crab legs in.
Oh yes, that’s going to work.
So I pulled that giant pot down and filled it with water. I cut up as much pumpkin as I could. By this point my hands were growing tired. I ended up leaving a couple of pumpkins for the family to decorate. My hands just couldn’t handle cutting up any more.
Once all the pumpkin was done roasting, steaming and boiling I pull off the shell and put it in jars and immediately added the lids and rings. The heat from the pumpkin created its own vacuumed and seals the lids. My kitchen had the oven timer, microwave beeper and lid pops going off.
It was like music.
Only much more annoying. Only because one should not try to do so many pumpkins with arthritic hands by themselves. 🙂
Hint: Like the Pumpkin Seeds, this also makes a nice gift to add to a Christmas food basket.
(You will leave the skin, rind, peal on. It will come off a lot easier after cooking.)
Method 1- Roasting
This is a good method if you are roasting seeds at the same time. A cookie sheet of seeds can go on the bottom rack. Top rack reserved for the roaster pan. In the roaster pan add about a cup of water. Add your sliced pumpkin. Cover with lid. I had no rhyme or reason to my cutting. I just hacked it up as best as I could. Roast on 350 for about 45 minutes.
Method 2- Microwave
Chop pumpkin into small pieces. Place about an inch of water in the bottom. Add pumpkin. Cover with lid. Make sure you are using a steamer pot (your lid has holes.) Cook for 20-25 minutes.
Method 3 – Boiling
Cut into pieces. Add to pan, cover with water. Cover. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until tender.