These days, since Papa Pea and I both enjoy it, we still don't need a special occasion for it to turn up on our table.
A place to grow pie pumpkins always appears in my garden, even this year when I had to grow them in a 4 x 8' raised bed.
A good friend in New York state generously sent me seeds for her favorite pie variety, Winter Luxury. Even in their small area, they produced prolifically for me. I had more lovely, round, medium-sized pumpkins than I needed.
Here's how I prepare mine for the freezer.
The rind is tough so I needed a hammer and my longest chef's knife to cut them open.
The easiest way for me to clean out the innards is with a melon baller.
Although I have saved the seeds and made roasted pumpkin seeds in years passed, this year all the cleanings went to the chickens.
I tell them it's their Halloween candy . . . and they do gobble it up.
All set for the cookie sheets.
I've found covering the cookie sheets with parchment paper makes for much easier clean-up. I bake them at 350° for 55-65 minutes. Test with a fork on the meaty side until they are sufficiently soft. Then scoop the pulp out with a spoon and place in a bowl and mash with a potato masher or you can use an electric mixer if the pulp seems stringy to you.
After baking, I measure the pulp into two-cup amounts.
Then I put it into small freezer bags, flatten to get the air out, and freeze.
Here's our first pie of the season. Was it good?