Monday, November 19, 2018

Utilizing the Garden Harvest - Hubbard Squash

I harvested three Hubbard Squash from the garden - two monsters and one that is only not a monster in comparison to the other two. Yesterday I decided it was time to process the first one.

This puppy weighed 24 pounds. 24!
Since I felt it was way to big to just cook and eat, I wanted to come up with some processing alternatives. Lots of discussions with friends and family turned up stories about how "Grandma (or Great Aunt Alice or whoever) would hack it up with a hatchet, roast it, and turn it into the best pumpkin pie ever". Okay, that's what I'll do too; puree it was to be.

Splitting it was actually pretty easy as I'd cured the squash before storing and the shell was nice and hard. So a couple good whacks with the clever broke it into sections.
I didn't use a hatchet.
It was so big that I couldn't fit all of it on my sheet pans. Shoot, I couldn't fit all of it into the oven.

I roasted it in three batches. Oven set to 375, each pan took about an hour and 45 minutes to get nice and soft and flavorful.
Nice caramelization
I let the sections cool for about 20 minutes and then scooped the flesh into the food processor. The shells scraped incredibly clean with very little waste. A bit of buzzing, a bit of stirring, and voila! I had puree.
The three segments above became this
Since just about every recipe I have calls for a 15oz can of pumpkin, I divided the puree into 15oz portions and froze them.
Portioning the goo
I kept out two bags so I could make pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie this week. In fact, I've already got the pumpkin bread in the oven as I type. I'll let you know how it turns out. This is a recipe that I've made many, many times so I figured it was my best bet for evaluating flavor and texture.

And in case you're interested, here are the stats:
Hubbard squash, unprocessed: 24 lbs (384 oz)
Puree: 180 oz or 12 "15oz cans"
Waste: 204 oz; shells 78 oz, innards 23 oz, balance water weight lost to evaporation

I was a bit surprised at how low the yield actually was. I didn't expect to lose half the squash's weight. I'll test those results when I process the other monster squash - it's about the same size as this one was.


  1. Those squash always look so big I've been too intimidated to try them. Please let us know how the flavor turns out when you bake it up. That's a lot of puree stored away for use in goodies if the flavor is worth the work.

    1. Hi Karren! The flavor is really good. Not as mellow as Butternut so I think I prefer them as an ingredient rather than a dish (if that makes sense...). I definitely think it's worth the effort.