Saturday, November 20, 2010

Freezing Pumpkins

After the Halloween (see Here for the pictures), I had 2 huge Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins sitting at home. Like I usually do, this time also I wanted to freeze the pumpkins and use it in winter to bake pies, soup, muffins, sambar and what ever I can possibly make with pumpkin. Why waste such a nice fruit when you can very well utilize every thing from it, including seeds? Start this when you have plenty of time on your hands.

The first step is to clean the pumpkin. As you can see the fruit completely fills one side of my sink. Gently wash it with warm water making sure to remember every dust particle is removed.

With a very big knife cut the pumpkin into half. You can either throw away the seeds or keep them aside to make yummy roasted seeds. This pumpkin yielded me 2 cups of seeds which I roasted. See the upcoming recipe for that. So, don't throw away the seeds.
Cut the pumpkin into further small pieces and scrape the gooey layer. Now, we have 4 methods to cook the pumpkin before we can freeze.
1. Take a microwavable bowl and put about 2 inches of water. Place the pumpkin pieces in into and cook in high heat for 20 minutes. Check after this if it is soft enough. If yes, take out the pieces, gently peel the skin off and dice/make a puree.
2. Steam the pumpkin until tender. You might want to peel the skin before you steam it.

3. The third method is cooking the pumpkin pieces in boiling water. This is what I did. Peel the pumpkin and dice in to bite sized cubes. Immerse in boiling water and cook for 10 minutes or until the pieces are tender.
Drain the water and let it dry in a big tray.
4. Baking the pieces in a pre-heated 450 D F oven for 40 minutes or until tender.

I personally prefer method 3.  Above plate is one set of pumpkin. Like this, I yielded 3 batches. After 4 hours and aching hands later, pumpkins are ready to be frozen. FYI, I just prepared 1 pumpkin.

1. You can mash/grind/or cube the cooked pumpkin. Measure the pulp, label it before you transfer to the container for freezing. You can also use zip lock bags for freezing.
2. I stored in several small boxes so that it is easier to de-frost.
3. The day before you plan to cook pumpkin, just removed the bag/box from the freezer and leave it in fridge. It would be ready to be cooked by next morning. Or, simply defrost in the microwave.


  1. Nice Tips about how to store pumpkins in fridge. Thanks a lot.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  2. Belated Halloween wishes, nice tips...mostly I waste the pumpkins...without any idea:( this is very helpful

  3. Thats a beautiful tips, thanks for sharing..

  4. Informative post,thanks for sharing Madhu.

  5. nice tip madhu..lovely gorgeous yellow.

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