Saturday, November 30, 2013

Fresh Pumpkins Part II

By Kathryn Washburn Breighner

Photo: Baking pumpkins for the Thanksgiving pies.The Thanksgiving pumpkin pies in our house have to include ones made from fresh pumpkins. No canned pumpkin allowed! While there are differing opinions as to the comparison tasting of fresh and canned pumpkin, canned is out in our house. Baking the pumpkins---easy!

One trick I've learned with baking any squash is to put them on a foil lined baking sheet. The squash juices are sugary and leave a mess to clean. The pumpkins are baked whole (so the flesh doesn't dry out) in a 350 degree F oven for 40-45 minutes until a knife can be inserted and easily removed.

Then the pumpkins are cut open to let the flesh cool.  The seeds can be scooped out or in my case, the entire pumpkin--flesh, seeds, and skin--are dropped into a Victorio strainer. The pumpkin puree comes out one end and the seeds and skin come out the other.  Two small pie pumpkins--pie pumpkins only---no carving pumpkins!--typically generate 6 cups of pumpkin puree, enough for three pies. Pumpkin cannot be safely canned so if the pie making is a few weeks out, the puree can be frozen. One of the favorite pies in our house: Pumpkin Pecan Pie

Easy as pumpkin pie!

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