Author Notes: This is a fun recipe using sugar pumpkin and other flavors from our fall harvest all packaged up and then baked into a delicious autumn presentation. I first got this idea from a 1980 something Yankee magazine, since then I’ve seen many variations.
It’s very easy and so versatile, just hollow out a pumpkin and fill it with your favorite stuffing – every time I’ve made this it’s different. My next pumpkin adventure will be to stuff with pumpkin cheesecake flavors and serve it for dessert.
Note: sugar and pie pumpkins are the same thing; you don’t want to use a jack-o-lantern pumpkin.
Makes one 3-lb sugar pumpkin
- 1 sugar pumpkin, about 3 pounds
- 1 cube room temperature salted butter on hand, won’t use it all
- 1/4 pound stale baguette, torn into 1/2-inch chunks
- 1/4 pound cheese, Gruyère, cheddar, or a combination, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 1/2 cup black forest ham, diced into small cubes
- 1 medium granny smith apple, diced into small cubes
- 2 small diced Jalapeno, seeds included
- 1 small sweet onion, diced
- 2–4 garlic cloves (to taste), coarsely chopped
- 1-1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme & rosemary combined, minced
- About 1/3 cup heavy cream
- Salt to taste and freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Cut off the top of the pumpkin, creating a lid about 4 inches in diameter, de-seed. Set aside. Using your hand or long metal spoon, scoop the seeds and strings out of the pumpkin.
- Rub the cut side of the lid and the inside of the pumpkin with the 1 tablespoon room-temperature butter. Place the pumpkin, cut side up, in a deep baking dish or pan that you can bring to the table. Set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the baguette, cheese and ham. Set aside until needed.
- In a skillet, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the apple, jalapeno, onion, garlic and herbs, stir until soft, about 8 minutes. Fold into the bread mixture. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Stuff the pumpkin until it is just about filled; then pour cream to within 1 inch of the rim, add just enough cream to moisten the filling. Fit the lid onto the pumpkin.
- Bake until the pumpkin begins to soften and brown on the outside and the stock bubbles on the inside, 1½ to 2 hours.
- To serve, use a spoon to carefully scrape the walls of the pumpkin to remove some tender pumpkin flesh with each serving of stuffing; it’s up to you, you could eat the skin too, just cut the pumpkin into slices to serve…I’ve not tried that.
- It’s really best to eat this as soon as it’s ready. But, if you’ve got leftovers, scoop them out, or cut into slices if you prefer; cover, chill and reheat the next day.