Pumpkin

How to cook pumpkin:
Bring 1 inch of salted water to a boil in a large kettle. Add unpeeled pumpkin chunks. Return to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered 25-30 minutes or until fork tender. Drain. Peel when cool enough to do so. Or peel 1 1/2 to 2 inch chunks and cook about 10 minutes after water returns to a boil.

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Baked pumpkin:
Cut a small pumpkin in half and clean out cavity. Place flesh side down in a cake pan or cookie sheet with sides. Add a little water. Bake at 350º for 1 1/2 hours or until pumpkin is fork tender. Scrape out and mash or puree in the blender. Use in recipes that call for mashed pumpkin or freeze for later use.

Pumpkin can also be cut into 3-inch unpeeled pieces and baked, covered at 375º approximately 40 minutes. Cool, peel, and mash or puree in a blender.

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Spiced Pumpkin Pecan Butter
From The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover

Ingredients:
3 1/2 cups cooked, mashed pumpkin
1 cup toasted, chopped pecans
1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 box fruit pectin
1/2 tsp. butter

Directions:
Measure pumpkin, pecans and pumpkin pie spice into a large kettle. Measure sugar into a separate bow. Stir fruit pectin into pumpkin mixture. Add butter. Bring mixture to full rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Quickly stir in all sugar. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon. Ladle quickly into five 1 cup jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with lids. Screw bands tightly. Process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes.

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How to freeze pumpkin
Wash pumpkin. Cut or break into uniform pieces (or cut in half) and remove seeds. Place cut side down on baking sheet and bake at 350º to 400º until tender. Cool. Scoop out pulp; mash or put through ricer; thoroughly chill before packaging, leaving 1 inch headspace in rigid containers.