Literally, all you have to do is take your squash and bake it in the oven until it's soft. I preheat the oven to about 375. I find it essential to place a baking sheet on a lower rack, below the squash, to catch the drips. Rather than timing them, I determine their done-ness first by noticing them leaking liquid onto the baking sheet, and second by poking them with a knife. It should go in very easily. It might take 50 minutes to over an hour, depending on the size of the squash you are roasting.
|Pumpkins will start leaking fluids when they are nearly done.|
Once they're soft, remove them from the oven. I pull out the baking sheet first, and place the squash on it to cool. If you cut them in half they will cool faster. They will slice like butter.
Once they cool enough that you can handle them easily, scoop out the seeds and gunk from the center. If you have any kind of farm animals, they will love this stuff. Even my cat eats it. Of course, you can roast the seeds for people as well.
Next, separate the flesh from the skin. This is easier with the thicker skinned pumpkins, a bit more of a hassle with butternut. Place all the flesh in a food processor, and blend until it looks like this:
Use this puree to make whatever you like, from soups to pies, breads to ravioli. It's super easy and you'll never need the canned stuff again! I like to roast more than I need and freeze the excess. You could also can it after pureeing.
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