Pressure canning pumpkin Jack o’ Lanterns pop into Thanksgiving

November 7, 2013
I’ve got a bunch of pumpkins left from Halloween and autumn décor. I have not succumbed to the temptation to paint them . . .and therefore make them unsuitable for eating. SOOOO folks, here goes!
You need mason jars, Mason jar lids, A pressure cooker/canner and at least one nice pumpkin.
If your pumpkin has already done his duty as a jack o’ lantern, pick out the wax wash him off and cut him into chunks small enough to fit in the pressure cooker.

Jack is feeling cheerful
Now that Jack (o’ Lantern) has done his duty, cheering up the little beggars, cut him into chunks and stuff him into a pressure cooker. The pumpkin above is not the same pumpkin as the cut up one, but they were about the same size. I  washed it, cut it in half, scooped out the seeds and then chunked him. Be careful to avoid the stem and blossom patches. Even after cooking, that part stays gritty.

  Note that the pumpkin isn’t peeled. Add about a quart of water, (this is a twelve quart pressure cooker canner). Bring up to 15 pounds pressure and cook for about 15 minutes.
Cool enough to open. (You can run cold water over the outside without harm.) Open the pressure cooker and puree the pumpkin in a blender, skin and all. Fill clean mason jars within 3/4″ of the rim, place lid and tighten ring.

 Rinse pressure cooker, be sure the rack is in the bottom, arrange jars, (a twelve quart cooker will take 7 quarts or 9 pints at a time. It’s fine to mix sizes. You can even stack smaller jars on each other, as long as they’re upright and don’t touch the lid.) Add two quarts water to cooker.
Place lid on pressure cooker. Bring up to 15 pounds of pressure on high heat. Since the pumpkin goes into the jars hot, it won’t take too long to come to pressure. Reduce heat to medium  and process for an hour.
Turn off heat and let pressure cooker/canner cool undisturbed. When all the pressure is gone from the canner, open the lid and remove the jars for further cooling. It doesn’t hurt it to leave it in the cooker overnight as it cools. (I sometimes turn off the cooker right before bed and get the jars out in the morning.)
A medium large pumpkin like the Jack O’Lantern above will yield about 7 quarts of pureed pumpkin. Use in pies, muffins, soups, cakes and as a substitute for some of the oil in quick breads and cakes.

All tightly sealed.

1/4 cup of pureed pumpkin has 125%  recommended daily intake for vitamin A, 5% Vitamin C, 25% Thiamin, and 5% iron and only 20 calories. Here’s a link to a current list of Recommended Dietary Intakes for nutrients 

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