Author Notes: This is a fun recipe using sugar pumpkin all packaged up and then baked into a delicious, spicy, 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. 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
2-1/4 cups stale baguette, torn into 1/2-inch chunks
1-1/4 cup cheese, combo of Gruyere or Jarlsberg & Pepper Jack, 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
1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
2–4 garlic cloves (to taste), coarsely chopped
6 tablespoons 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 it. Set aside until needed. 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 and garlic, 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, one tablespoon at a time, to within 1 inch of the rim; enough 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.
- Best served as soon as it’s ready. If you have leftovers, cut the pumpkin into slices, cover, chill and reheat the next day.