Friday, October 14, 2016

Canning Blue Hubbard Squash

A friend of mine called and asked if I wanted to come help her can some blue Hubbard squash. While I had no idea what a blue Hubbard squash was or how you would even use blue Hubbard squash I said yes. It's hard for me to pass up some girl talk and a new canning adventure all wrapped up in one session.

Turns out a blue Hubbard squash is a rather ugly looking fruit! Or as Bonnie Plants puts it "this squash is known by its huge size, funky shape, blue-gray color and very hard skin that makes it especially long lasting in winter storage. The meat inside is orange, sweet, flavorful and fine grained. Great for baking, pies and soups." Who knew?!?!

These bad boys were a lot of prep work (I think now I know why my friend wanted help!). They are not kidding when they say the skin is very hard. I think a meat cleaver would've worked better for splitting it open than a knife... But we finally figured out a system and set up a sort of two person assembly line.

Since the Hubbard squash is a winter squash the canning books recommend that you follow the same preparation procedures and processing times for cubed pumpkin. Turns out you can also substitute Hubbard squash for pumpkin in most recipes as well.

We used the hot pack method and processed out pints in a pressure canner at 10 pounds of pressure for 55 minutes. (If you'd like to see more pictures of a pressure canner see my prior post on pressure canning green beans.) Since I did half the work, my friend was gracious enough to offer me half the results. I didn't take half but I did take about 6 pints. I gave one to my parents and have used one so far. I used it to make a pumpkin citrus bundt cake - obviously substituting the Hubbard squash for the pumpkin. It was only okay but I don't blame the squash. I blame the recipe.

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