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Vegetable Gardening: Cushaw Squash Can these be frozen?

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Forum: Vegetable GardeningReplies: 7, Views: 63
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PhyllisJ
Johnson City, TN
(Zone 6b)

July 6, 2012
7:24 AM

Post #9195118

These cushaw were started from seeds of a cushaw I purchased at the grocery store last year. This is something I had never done before. I was ready to pull them up thinking they were not going to bloom and Darius changed my mind. So glad I didn't. I guess cushaw squash comes on much later than other winter squash. If they continue to grow, I will have to find some neighbors to enjoy them. Not sure what I can do with that many squash. Anyone know if you can cook these, mix pie ingredients, and freeze. It would be nice to just open one drop in pie pan and cook this winter. I have a couple from last year that once frozen I vacuum sealed and put back in the fridge. I haven't cooked them yet. I had heard it wasn't safe.

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darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

July 6, 2012
8:22 AM

Post #9195193

I cook cushaw, mash it, and add pumpkin pie spices, then freeze in amounts for pumpkin pies. (Store-bought pumpkin pie filling is made from mixed varieties of winter squash which are less watery than the traditional Halloween pumpkins.) I freeze mine in plastic containers, then take the frozen blocks out of the containers and vacuum-seal them before they go back into the freezer. I do winter squash soup the same way.

It is NOT safe to pressure-can pumpkin pie filling because high heat doesn't necessarily reach the interior of the jars due to the thickness of the filling. I do have a couple of jars still in the pantry of some cushaw I canned, but they are just squash cubes, not mashed.
PhyllisJ
Johnson City, TN
(Zone 6b)

July 6, 2012
8:37 PM

Post #9196003

Great then mine in the freezer is safe. Thanks. Once you can the cubes, is it good for pies? I am big on pie making. I have a really good blueberry recipe if you like blueberries. It isn't overly sweet like some and the ingredients do not overwhelm the taste of the blueberries.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

July 7, 2012
4:29 AM

Post #9196151

Yes, the canned cubes can be mashed for pies. They tend to be watery, like all squash, so I cook them down a bit when I mash them for pie filling. I cut the squash into cubes no bigger than about an inch when canning, and when I open a jar I try to use the juice in something like a stew or soup. It doesn't always work out that way, though. :)
kmom246
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)

July 8, 2012
12:07 AM

Post #9197400

I had never thought about not canning something like pureed squash (http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/uga/pumpkin_butter.html). Does anyone know of other things that should not be canned? Over the next few years, I am considering learning to can and otherwise preserve food.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

July 8, 2012
4:52 AM

Post #9197478

Anything low-acid and a thick consistency has a risk of not getting thoroughly sterilized in the pressure canning process. I used to can apple pie filling but not anymore. (I can just the apple slices, but only add a thickener later when I make the pie.)

I make a tart apple butter that is fine.

Other folks may know of more things that shouldn't be canned.

NicoleC

NicoleC
Madison, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 8, 2012
6:51 AM

Post #9197579

kmom, generally speaking if you can't find a relatively recent approved recipe, don't do it. A lot goes into being sure recipes are safe. Just because your great-granny did it doesn't mean it's safe; we've learned a lot about food safety since then.
kmom246
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)

July 15, 2012
1:14 AM

Post #9205566

Thanks, NicoleC and everyone.

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