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Fresh pumpkin or squash puree
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Small pumpkin or medium squash (butternut, acorn, or Hubbard), 4–6 pounds
Preheat oven to 350°F. Carefully cut off the stem and a few inches of the top of the pumpkin or squash with a sharp knife. Cut into halves. Remove stringy flesh and seeds, then cut again into quarters. Bake 50–60 minutes until soft. Allow to cool, then scoop the flesh from the skin into a food processor and puree until smooth. For a smoother consistency, push the puree through a strainer. Freeze any unused puree in a freezer-approved plastic container, marking the container with the amount it contains. Puree can be stored for up to six months. Try substituting up to a cup of puree for shortening in recipes for baked goods.
Tip: Squash can be difficult to cut. If you use squash frequently, consider buying a designated small hand saw to help you cut through the thick skin. Label this saw so that it does not get used for materials other than food.
Yield: 3–4 cups of puree (for recipes)
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