Each variety of winter squash has its own unique flavor, texture, and color. Some are rich and meaty, some sweet, and some, like jack-o-lantern or field pumpkins, are positively bland – yech. If you are growing squash be sure to check the seed description for clues as to flavor. If you buy at market, look for edible squash rather than decorative. They are usually displayed separately.
Good choices include small sugar pumpkins, acorn squash, butternut, carnival, delicata, hubbard, banana, kabocha, kuri, and Oregon Homestead Sweetmeat. And my favorite, Musquee de Provence pumpkin. 1 pumpkin or winter squash of choice Freezer containers or wide mouth can-or-freeze jars Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with sides with a sheet of parchment paper. Wash pumpkin, cut in half, and clean out the seeds and stringy pulp. (Refer to How to get into a pumpkin if you need help.) Set halves cut side up on prepared baking sheet. If the squash is very large it may need to be cut into sections and roasted in batches.
Roast until a knife easily pierces the flesh, anywhere from 1 hour for an acorn squash to 3 or 4 hours for a Musquee de Provence pumpkin. Test the squash in several places to be sure it is completely done. Let cool. Pour off any liquid and scoop the softened pumpkin flesh into your food processor and whiz until smooth. Package puree in recipe-size portions for the freezer. Label, freeze, and use within 1 year to make Curried Pumpkin Soup, Pumpkin Patch Muffins, Pumpkin Yeast Bread, Pumpkin Pie Fruit Leather, pumpkin pie, and all your favorite pumpkin recipes.
|Wide-mouth can-or-freeze jars work beautifully for freezing Winter Squash Purees. Pumpkins and squash are low acid vegetables and cannot be safely water bath canned in puree form.|
Note: Some squash purees will contain more liquid than commercially canned “dry pack” pumpkin. If you want a thicker puree pour it into a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap, place in refrigerator and allow to drain until it reaches desired consistency, 2 hours to overnight.
|This squash contained a lot of liquid, which would be fine for soup. If I plan to bake with the puree, though, I often strain it– or add 2 Tbs additional flour to the recipe. The excess liquid can be added to smoothies or used to water plants.|