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POTIMARRON (C. maxima) is a famous French heirloom squash. The name is derived from "potiron" (pumpkin) and "marron" (chestnut). Potimarron is one of the most prolific winter squashes I have ever grown. The long vines (I measured one at 30 feet) produce successive fruits, setting additional roots along its length so it does not succumb to vine borers. It continued to flower and produce fruit (though they did not have time to ripen) even after several hard frosts had withered much of the plant. Amazing! Pear-shaped fruits are bright yellow when immature (see photo below) and then turn a rich reddish orange! Nice sized 3-4 pound fruits store well and the flavor improves with storage (still holding strong in December). The dense, sweet flesh not only tastes like chesnuts but has the same texture and dry quality, making it a wonderful pie pumpkin. A simple, but wonderful preparation is to slice vertically, scoop out the seeds (very few strings makes this soooo easy), and fill the center with maple syrup, freshly grated nutmeg, butter and walnuts and bake till soft (time will vary according to size, but between 40 minutes to an hour) at 350 degrees. Or, if making a pie, place cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour at 350 - the skin will just fall off and you will be left with delicious rich flesh to process for your pie. 85-95 days. 10 seeds.
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