A few weeks back before the early season frost, I visited a local farm to get my hands on a few pie pumpkins. It's so much fun to bake with fresh pumpkin. Pies, breads and muffins turn out moist and a vivid orange color that you can't get from canned pumpkin.
It's so easy to roast a pumpkin; the hard part is actually finding a quality pumpkin. I've bought pie pumpkins at the grocery store that were moldy on the inside. And I've tried to grow pumpkins myself, but been unsuccessful. I just can't keep the squash bugs and vine borers off the pumpkins.
Besides, you can't help but feel good when you buy from a local farmer. It's a great sign of support for both the local economy and for Iowa agriculture in general.
It took a little elbow grease, but I sliced the pumpkin in half, then scraped out the seeds and the stringly pulp. Then I baked the pumpkin halves upside down on a foil-covered baking sheet at 375 degrees for over an hour. The roasted pumpkin came out perfectly tender.
I gave the pumpkin a spin in the food processor until it was smooth.
This pumpkin was so sweet, it tasted great without any sugar. I saved some to eat for lunch the next day.
I measured out 1 cup of pumpkin into freezer bags, dated the bags, then stacked them in the freezer for future use. It's such a great treat to make pumpkin bars in the middle of winter.