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How to Bake a Pumpkin

Forget canned pumpkin. Here's how to bake your own!

Ingredients

1 pie pumpkin (See notes.)

Instructions

1. Wash the outside of the pumpkin.  Dirt doesn’t taste good.

2. Remove the stem.  Sometimes it will pull off, but if not, you can cut it off.

3. Using a large, sharp knife, cut the pumpkin.  Be careful and be sure to use a good, sturdy knife; the pumpkin shell is very hard and it's easy for the knife to slip.

How you cut your pumpkin depends on the size and shape.  A small pumpkin can be cut in half or in quarters.  A large pumpkin should be cut into several pieces.

4. Clean out seeds and inner pulp thoroughly.

5. Place pumpkin in a baking dish or on a high-rimmed baking sheet.  If you have pumpkin that is shaped like a cup, such as pumpkin halves, place them cut side down.

The pumpkin will release a lot of juice, so be sure your baking pan has sides on it.  Also, there's no need to put water in your baking dish since the pumpkin will release its own juice, and extra water will just dilute the sweetness of the pumpkin.

6. Cover pumpkin with foil to keep edges from burning.

7. Bake at 350°F until flesh is very tender and begins to fall apart. Baking time can vary greatly depending on the size of your pumpkin pieces and the age and variety of the pumpkin.

8. When pumpkin is done, allow to cool enough to handle, and scrape pulp from the shell.

9. You can mash your pumpkin in a blender, in a food processor, with an immersion blender, or with a potato masher, if you’d like.

If your pumpkin puree is too thin or runny, you can put it in a fine-meshed sieve and drain off some of the liquid.

Now you're ready to make pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin soup, pumpkin smoothie, or whatever pumpkin recipe sounds good to you!

Notes

Be sure to choose a pie pumpkin.  Some pumpkins make great jack-o-lanterns and some pumpkins make great pies.  Make sure you get the right kind.

Recipe by JennifersKitchen at https://jenniferskitchen.com/2012/11/the-great-pumpkin.html