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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Baked Pumpkin

We grew a lot of pumpkins this year.  I think we ended up with close to 20.  I sold several and we still had almost 15.

We carved 3, so I don't have the guilt of those going to waste.

I've now baked 4....

and I still have 8 left.

This is one nice thing about winter squash - it keeps for months.  You can just sit it in a root cellar or basement and leave it until you feel like doing something about it.  Or, gasp, you forget about it and it rots.  Or maybe you just pretend to forget about it because you're tired of looking at winter squash...?

If you want to make some pumpkin puree to cook with, it's really easy. 

Just slice the pumpkin in half (the easiest way is to use a serrated or pumpkin carving knife).  Scoop out the insides (save those seeds for roasting!).

Then slice them into smaller pieces and put on baking sheets.

Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.  Poke the pumpkin flesh with a fork to check for doneness.  If the fork slides in easily and the pumpkin seems mushy, it's done!

Remove from oven, allow to cool.  Then take a small paring knife and peel off the skin.

Next step is to puree it.  You can just put it in a bowl and mash it with your hands, a potato mash, a fork, whatever you choose.  If you wanted it to be a finer puree, you could use a food processor.

That's it! 

You can use it right away or put it into freezer bags to use throughout the winter.

There are so many uses for pumpking and other winter squash.  I've had Mexican dishes (like Pumpkin Enchiladas), Italian dishes (pumpkin ravioli), and of course the multitude of American dishes like pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread (yeast & sweet), pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bars, pumpkin soup, on and on....


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