Baking Pumpkins

Pie pumpkins from storage in the basement.

     It's really cold here in Northeast Wisconsin.  It's going to be 10 degrees below zero tonight with a 20 degree below windchill.  This was a good day to use the oven and not get the house over heated.  So, I baked pumpkins to use in pumpkin pie.  Three of my stored pie pumpkins were cut lengthwise (from the stem down).  All the seeds and insides cleaned out --- to go to the chickens and ducks.  Then placed flesh side down on a cookie sheet.  Bake them for one hour at 350 degrees.  Let them cool, so you can handle them without burning yourself.  Now spoon out all the flesh into a bowl.  Use an immersion blender, and keep blending till it's all smooth.  I use the same amount of my prepared pumpkin as it calls for in the Libby pumpkin pie recipe, in my pies. 
     Fresh pumpkin has 2650 I.U.'s of beta-carotene (that gets converted to vitamin A) per cup!  That is a lot!  Pumpkin pie made from fresh pumpkin tastes so much better!  If you are not using it right away.  Freeze it.  You don't have to do anything more to it.  I freeze it in quart size freezer bags -- with the exact amount I need for a pie.  This pumpkin puree can of course be used for other recipes, and makes a fine baby food.  Just freeze in the sizes you'll need.  I do believe tomorrow  I will be baking pies :-)

Baked and cooling.

Frozen and labeled / and fresh puree.

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