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If you're going to be baking pumpkin pies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cookies...... try using fresh pumpkin! Get your pumpkins now, cook them up,  and freeze the puree for later use. Smaller "sugar" pumpkins are sweeter, but any fresh pumpkin will do.

Cut pumpkin in half. Scoop out stringy stuff and seeds. Save seeds to roast. Place pumpkin open side down on a roasting pan or cookie sheet and bake in a 325 degree oven until pumpkin top caves in (this could take some time). If you have a really large pumpkin, you will only be able to bake one half at a time. Let pumpkin cool. (As an alternative, you can steam or boil the pumpkin, but it will absorb too much liquid which you will have to squish out when it cools.)

Peel off outer shell from the pulp and discard. Place chunks of pumpkin in food processor and process well. Measure out pumpkin for recipes  and freeze in airtight containers, labeled according to intended use (e.g., "2 cups pureed pumpkin for pumpkin pie).

When you defrost pumpkin, it will have some excess liquid which should be drained off or squished out prior to making your recipe.

If you think your pies and other baked goods are tasty now, just wait until you use fresh pumpkin!


10-17-00 tgraydesigns
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