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Sugar pumpkin puree

SERVES 10

Butter (for the dish)

2 sugar pumpkins (about 3 pounds each), halved and seeded

Salt and pepper, to taste

6 tablespoons butter

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Have on hand a 2-quart baking dish. Butter the dish. Set the oven at 375 degrees.

2. Set the pumpkins, flesh side up, in a large roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and dot with 3 tablespoons of the butter.

3. Pour 1 cup water into the bottom of the pan (or enough water to make a thin layer). Cover with foil, shiny side down. Roast the pumpkins for 2 hours or until they are very tender. Leave to cool.

4. With a large metal spoon, scoop the flesh from the pumpkins and transfer it to a food processor. Work the mixture until smooth.

5. Layer the pumpkin puree with the remaining 3 tablespoons butter, nutmeg, and cinnamon in the baking dish. Cover the dish with foil, shiny side down. Bake the puree for 30 minutes or until it is very hot, stirring once or twice.

Note: To make in advance, cover the unbaked pureed pumpkin with foil and refrigerate. Before serving, let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Reheat the puree for 30 minutes in a 375 degree oven or until very hot.

Sheryl Julian and Julie Riven

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