I'd like information on peeling pumpkins and easily preparing them for freezing. I'm fairly new at this and would appreciate any advice you can give me. —L.S., West Baldwin, Maine
I agree—peeling pumpkins can be tricky! For easier peeling, cut the pumpkin into large pieces and remove fibrous strings and seeds. Peel the pumpkin using a small sharp knife or vegetable peeler. Our Test Kitchen staff has found an alternative way to prepare pumpkins for freezing that eliminates the tedious task of peeling. First, cut the pumpkin into 5-inch pieces. Place the cut pumpkin on a baking sheet and cover with foil. Bake at 375° for 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until the pumpkin pieces are tender. Scoop out the pulp and discard the rind. Puree the pumpkin in batches in a food processor or blender. For a thick puree, place the pumpkin in a cheesecloth-lined strainer and press out any liquid. Freeze in heavy-duty freezer containers in amounts called for in your favorite recipes.