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Home Ec Lessons: Preserving Pumpkin

Here is a wide range of recipes to use when preserving pumpkin. The methods below include canning, freezing, and drying. Always remember to follow safe food handling practices, both in the preservation process and in serving your harvest. I've also included recipes for using preserved pumpkin.

Pumpkin Chips

Cut peeled pumpkin strips into chips about the thickness of a dollar. To every pound of chips add a pound of sugar and the juice of one lemon. Let stand overnight. By morning there will be juice sufficient to cook it in. Cut lemon rinds into strips and boil until tender. Add to pumpkin and boil until pumpkin chips look clear. Cook on a slow fire.

Fried Pumpkin

After slicing pumpkin and cleaning out seed, scrape inside clean. Either halve or quarter pumpkin and bake until its soft enough to spoon out of shell. Put in iron skillet that's been greased and already frying hot. Add slat as you like. When pumpkin starts getting soft to a fork test, add as much sorghum molasses as you like to sweeten. Now cook until pumpkin get sort of orange brown. Better stir often to keep from scorching.

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

1 (1 lb.) can of pumpkin
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 pint half-and-half
1/2 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ginger
1/4 t. cloves
sprinkle of nutmeg

All you do with this is mix all of the above ingredients together very carefully. Then chill, crank, and freeze.

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

The provident mountain woman would not think of discarding pumpkin or winter squash seeds, and had a method for preparing them that makes them good eating. Remove fiber and put seeds on a baking sheet. Allow to dry about 12 hours, then toast in 400 F, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes, or until brown. If you prefer salted seeds, they may be soaked in heavily salted water after fibrous material is removed. After about an hour of soaking, drain, then let dry overnight. Toast as above.

Pumpkin Butter

3 cups cooked, mashed, or canned pumpkin
2 cups sugar
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground cloves
1/2 t lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan; stir well. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes until mixture is smooth and thickened. Quickly pour pumpkin butter mixture into hot jars, filling to 1/4 inch from top. Wipe jar rims clean. Place lids with bands on and process in a boiling water bath 15 minutes. Yield:4 half pints.

Pumpkin Chili

2 c. Fresh or Canned Pumpkin
3 pounds Lean Ground Beef
2 cans Red Kidney Beans
2 Medium Onions- chopped
3 cans Cut Tomatoes, 15 ounce
2 T. Chili Powder
1/4 t. Red Pepper(Optional)
2 T. Sugar
1 t. Salt
2 Bay Leaves

Brown ground beef and drain off excess fat. Put ground beef into a large pot. Add each ingredient into the pot. Cook on low for one to two hours. Serve with crackers.

Pumpkin Custard

1/4 C raw honey
1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ginger
1/4 t cloves
2 eggs
15 oz can pumpkin or 1 3/4 C cooked pumpkin
1 1/2 C coconut milk

Mix all and bake at 400 for 15 minutes, then 350 for 40-50 minutes. Custard is done when a knife can be inserted in the center and comes out clean.

Pumpkin Jam

1 ea Medium Pumpkin
4 lb Sugar
4 ea Lemons
4 ea Oranges

Cut up and dice 1 medium pumpkin For 2 bowls of pumpkin use 1 bowl of sugar. Cut up 4 lemons and 4 oranges. Combine pumpkin, lemon and orange and cover with the sugar. Let stand over night. Next day, mix well and cook until pumpkin is clear. Pack in sterile jars and seal immediately.

Spiced Pumpkin and Pecan Butter

This spiced "butter" is delectable smeared across a slice of buttered toast or any hot bread, atop pancakes and waffles in place of syrup. You can even put a dollop on top of a scoop of rich vanilla ice cream.

Zest of 1 orange or zest of 1/2 orange and 1/2 lemon removed in wide strips with a swivel peeler
1 (29-ounce) can solid pack pumpkin plus 1/2 cup of water or 3 1/2 to 4 cups pumpkin puree prepared from scratch
2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
3 tablespoons strained fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons strained fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of ground cloves
1/3 cup pecans or walnuts, lightly toasted and very finely chopped

Simmer the orange zest in 2 cups water in a saucepan for 10 minutes, then drain it and mince it to a fine pulp. Measure out 1 tablespoon and reserve. Combine in a heavy-bottomed stainless-steel or other nonreactive saucepan, the pumpkin and water (if using canned) orange zest, sugar, orange juice, lemon juice, cinnamon, salt, allspice, ginger and cloves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; lower the heat and simmer the mixture, stirring it very often with a wooden spatula, until it has become very thick, about 15 minutes. Sample the butter and add a little more of any of all of the spices, if you like (although flavors will blossom in storage). Add more sweetening if your taste buds request it. Stir in the nuts and continue to cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Ladle the boiling-hot pumpkin butter into clean, hot half-pint canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Seal the jars with new 2 piece canning lids according to manufacturer's instructions. Process the jars for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Cool, label, and store for up to a year in a cool cupboard. Makes 5 cups.


Ingredients(Makes three moist loaves)
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups sugar
4 eggs
2/3 cup water
3 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups pumpkin (or 1 can)
3 1/2 cups flour
2 cups walnuts (optional)
2 cups raisins (optional)

Mix oil and sugar, then add eggs and water. Next add spices and baking soda. Add pumpkin, then flour and mix well. Bake at 325 for 60-75 minutes - covering with foil after 45 minutes. Cool on rack 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack.


1 can (16 oz) Solid Pack Pumpkin
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

In medium saucepan, combine ingredients; mix well. Bring to boilover medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat, simmer 20 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Pour hot mixture into sterilized canning jars; seal immediately. NOTE: Unsealed Pumpkin Butter may be stored in an airtight containerin the refrigerator for several weeks or frozen several months.


1 box (2 layer size) yellow cake mix (reserve 1 cup)
1 egg
1/2 cup margarine, low fat

1 can (29 oz) solid pack pumpkin
3 eggs
2/3 cup evaporated milk
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup sugar

1/4 cup margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup reserved cake mix

Mix all three crust ingredients together and press into a 13x9 bakingdish. In a large mixing bowl, mix ingredients for filling; pour overcrust. In a smaller mixing bowl, mix topping ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle over filling. Bake at 350 for one hour and 15 minutes. SUGGESTION: Serve warm with whipped cream.

NOTE: Original recipe says this dessert is best right out of theoven. The 'crust' (made from yellow cake mix) is crispier while it'sstill warm.


1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 jars (7 oz each) marshmallow creme
1 can (15 oz) canned solid pack pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated orange peel

In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and marshmallow creme untilsmooth. Stir in pumpkin, cinnamon and orange peel. Serve asa dip with cookies (Nilla-Vanilla or Ginger Snap). Store in the refrigerator. Another option for the Pumpkin Cookie Dip, is to spread a thin layeron a pizza crust. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon sugar, and bake! It makes super Pumpkin Pizza!!


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