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How to Prep a Whole Pumpkin

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This article is brought to you by our friends at Electrolux as part of an ongoing series focusing on seasonal ingredients for the holidays. This month we're talking pumpkin and winter squash.

Today: Forget the jack-o-lantern -- we're showing you how to hack into a pumpkin, safely, for cooking. 

 

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'Tis the season of the pumpkin. It's a magical vegetable, and not just because one once transformed into a princess's carriage -- it's also incredibly versatile. You can make pumpkin purée for a warm soup or any type of baked good; you can chop it up, bake it, and toss it in salads and pastas; you can roast or toast its seeds and use them to garnish just about anything.

Today, we're demonstrating the best way to get past the tough outer shell of the pumpkin to get to the goodness inside -- without chopping a finger off. Once there, we like to scoop out the stringy flesh and seeds with an ice cream scoop: it's most effective at scraping and scooping all at once. So sharpen your best knife, and get hacking! (Carefully, please.) You have a bounty of orange recipes awaiting you. We suggest starting with cheesecake.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

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Makes one 9-inch cheesecake

For the crust:

1 1/3 cups gingersnap crumbs
1/3 cup granulated sugar
8 tablespoons melted butter (1 stick)

For the cheesecake:

2 pounds cream cheese (4 packages) room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1 3/4 cups canned pumpkin (or make your own)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Pinch salt

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

This article was brought to you by Electrolux, who's all about great taste and the appliances to help you make beautiful meals in your own kitchen. Learn more here.

Video by Kyle Orosz; photo by Mark Weinberg

Tags: kitchen confidence, video, electrolux, pumpkin, carving