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Pumpkin Handling & Recipes


Harvest pumpkins after the rind is hard enough to resist puncturing by a thumbnail. Cool weather increases sugar content and storage life. Avoid bruising and harvest with the stem on.

Storage should be done after pumpkins have been cured. Curing is done for 10 to 14 days at temperatures between 80 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. If no other area is available, curing may be done near furnace. After curing, store pumpkins at 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit and 70 to 75 percent humidity. Cured pumpkins will keep to 2 to 3 months. Chill injury occurs at temperatures less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit.


  1. Select full-colored, mature pumpkin with texture that is fine rather than coarse and stringy
  2. Wash, cut into quarters or smaller pieces, and remove seeds. Cook pumpkin pieces until soft in boiling water, in steam, in a pressure cooker or in an oven.
  3. Remove pulp from rind and mash or press it through a sieve.
  4. To cool, place pan containing pumpkin in cold water, stirring occasionally.
  5. Pack into containers, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Seal, label and freeze.


QUANTITY: An average of 16 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 10 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints--an average of 2-1/4 pounds per quart.

QUALITY: Pumpkins should have a hard rind and stringless, mature pulp of ideal quality for cooking fresh. Small size pumpkins (sugar or pie varieties) make better

PROCEDURE: Wash, remove seeds, cut into 1 inch-wide slices and peel. Cut flesh into 1-inch cubes. Boil 2 minutes in water. CAUTION: DO NOT MASH OR PUREE. Fill hot jars with cubes and cooking liquid, leaving 1-inch
headspace. Add ½ teaspoon salt to pints, 1 teaspoon salt to quarts.) Adjust lids and process.

Pressure -process at 10 pounds pints for 55 minutes, quarts for 90 minutes. Remove jars; complete seals if necessary.

For making pies, drain jars and strain or sieve cubes.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
  • 2 cups pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 teablespoon melted unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

Pick through seeds and remove any cut seeds. Remove as much of th stringly fibers as possible.

Bring the water and salt to a boil. Add the seeds and boil for 10 minutes. Drain, spread on paper towel and pat dry.

Place the seeds in a bowl and toss with butter. Spread evenly on a large cookie sheet or roasting pan. Place pan in a preheated oven and roast the seeds for 30 to 40 minutes. Stir about every 10 minutes, until crisp and golden brown.

Cool the seeds, then shell and eat or pack in air-tight containers and regrigerate until ready to eat.

  • 3 cups all-pourpuse flour 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 ½ cups sugar 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp. soda 2/3 cup water
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt 2 cups fresh cooked pumpkin
  • 1 tsp. allspice 1 cup pecans
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Combine flour, sugar, soda, salt, and spices. Add remaining ingredients, mixing well. Spoon batter into a well-greased 10-inch tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 ½ hours or until cake tests done. Yield: one 10-inch cake.


  • 1 (3oz.) Package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 2 ½ c sifted confectioners sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp. Milk, or as much as is needed to make icing spreadable.

Stir all ingredients with a spoon. Spread on top of cake. May sprinkle with whopped pecans, if desired.

Magic Pumpkin Pie
Calories 157 Sodium 175 mg .8 g fat
  • 4 Egg whites
  • 2 Tbs. Molasses
  • 1 16 oz can pumpkin
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 13 oz can evaporated skim milk
  • ½ tsp. Cinnamon
  • ½ Cup Bisquick Light Baking Mix
  • ¼ tsp. Allspice
  • ½ Cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. Pumpkin pie spice


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F
  2. Spray a 9" glass pie pan with non stick cooking spray
  3. Place all ingredients in blender and blend 1 minute - or 2 minutes by hand mixer
  4. Pour into pie dish and bake 50 minutes, or until center is puffed





NCDA&CS Markets Division, Joe Sanderson, Director
Mailing Address: 1020 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1020
Physical Address: 2 W. Edenton Street, Room 402, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3100; FAX: (919) 733-0999