We have been blessed with a bunch of pumpkins (or “punks” as my littlest one is calling them) this year so this is what is on the schedule for today. Canning pumpkin is really simple and is a great way to have delicious pumpkin available all year round.
When canning pumpkin it is not recommended to can it as a full puree as it is so thick it may not process properly. This is why we can it in chunks and then when you need it you can just run it through a food processor or even just mash it up with a fork. Pumpkin also requires a pressure canner to make sure it is sealed well so you want to keep this in mind before starting.
As far as difficulty goes I think pumpkin is one of the simplest veggies to can as far as prep work. It is time consuming though as it requires time in the oven to roast and a longer time in the canner. It is so worth it to have on hand for all those yummy pumpkin baked goods though! You can even spread it into a two day process if that makes it easier by roasting them the first day and canning them the next. My kiddos are extra excited this year for pumpkins as we are also planning to experiment with roasting the seeds so we will have to see how that turns out!
Here is the step-by-step way we can pumpkin!
1. Wash, cut and clean out the seeds
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees while you prep the pumpkin.
First wash any dirt off of your pumpkin. Then you need to cut it into smaller pieces to fit in a 9×13 baking dish. I typically cut it into halves or quarters depending on how big the pumpkin is. Clean out the seeds and set them aside if planning to roast seeds or just discard them for the compost. Discard the seed pulp and the stem for composting.
2. Roast pumpkin
Next place the pumpkin chunks skin side up into a 9×13 pan or similar roasting pan. You can slightly overlap chunks to place more into the pan. Fill the bottom of the pan with about 1 inch of water. This works to steam the pumpkins. Cover pans with a piece of parchment paper and place in oven. Roast for about 30-45 minutes or until soft enough to poke a fork right through. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
At this point you can store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to can it or just head straight to step three for the canning phase!
3. Cut pumpkin into chunks and place in jars
Prepare 7-quart size canning jars by cleaning and sanitizing.
Place your cooled pumpkin pieces skin side down on a cutting board. This is where the roasting saves a lot of time! Once the pumpkin is roasted it is super easy to cut and the peel comes right off for the most part so it saves you peeling and chunking a raw hard pumpkin! You want to cut the pumpkin into small chunks and remove the peel. I like to just slice into the pumpkin putting all the chunk lines into it and stopping the knife just short of the peel. Then you can just use a spoon to scoop the chunks right off the peel.
Place the chunks of pumpkin into jars filling the jars until just below the shoulder of the jar leaving one inch headspace. You can pack them down a little to help fit more in, you just don’t want to completely mash them.
Fill each jar to the shoulder with water to fill in the rest of the jar. You can even use the water left in the roasting pans to use up all the great nutrients! Use a butter knife to cut through the pumpkin in the jars to let any air escape. Wipe the rims clean and place lids and rings on jars.
4. Can the pumpkin
Fill your canner with water and place the jars in the canner. Make sure that you match the temperature of the water in the canner to the temperature of the jars! If your jars are cool, fill the canner with cool water and vice versa. Otherwise you may end up with broken jars!
Place the canner lid on and seal for pressure canning making sure the pressure weight is in place. Turn canner to high and wait for it to reach 11 pounds of pressure. Allow to can for 1 hour and 30 minutes maintaining 11 pounds pressure.
Once finished, turn off canner and allow pressure to completely come down (including the little pressure button). Lift jars out of canner with a jar lifter and place on a towel in a quiet corner. Allow to sit for 24 hours before wiping off and placing on shelf. You now have canned pumpkin!
Just to give you an idea on amounts, 1 large pumpkin usually gives me one full canner load plus a little extra for a few baked goods.
Stay tuned soon for a new favorite pumpkin cookie we created to go with your roasted pumpkin! Enjoy!