Baked Stuffed Pumpkin
This unique side dish is a perfect substitution for typical cranberry sauce. The presentation is amazing and it tastes GREAT! I highly suggest it: perfect for Thanksgiving or a fall party.
We decorated our apartment for Halloween this year, after one year off when we were too busy with wedding plans. My husband teased me all night about how much pumpkin stuff I have. It's a little ridiculous. I love pumpkins (haven't heard that enough, have you?)!!!
So...when I came across this recipe I got really excited. I mean, what could be better than cooking something and eating it out of a pumpkin?! The presentation alone would be amazing! And if it tasted good...even better.
Well, we tried this out earlier this week...and it is AMAZING! We had it as a side dish to some baked chicken, and it was great!!! This would be a perfect WOW recipe for Thanksgiving dinner-replace traditional cranberries (ok, or canned cranberries) with this to really impress guests!! It's an amazing, sweet, tasty side dish! It can also be be poured on top of pumpkin bread or topped with whipped cream for dessert, but we loved it as a side.
Baked Stuffed Pumpkin (www.allrecipes.com)
1 medium sugar pumpkin
6 granny smith apples-peeled, cored, and chopped
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 (16 oz) can whole berry cranberry sauce
1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks, drained
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dark rum (optional: we omitted this b/c we forgot to pick it up at the store)
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root
1 tablespoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Position rack in the center of the oven.
2) Cut out the top of the pumpkin and set aside. Scoop out seeds with metal spoon (Great Idea!: save the pumpkin seeds for a great snack!)
3) In a large bowl, stir together the apples, walnuts, cranberry sauce, pineapple, brown sugar, raisins, and rum. Season with ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and mix well. Spoon the mixture into the cleaned pumpkin, and replace top.
4) Set pumpkin directly on the baking stone or a thick baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until pumpkin begins to soften. Remove from heat and stir, scraping the sides gently, so that some pieces of pumpkin fall into the apple mixture.
Level of Difficulty: Surprisingly Easy!
Cost: Roughly $20.00 (without rum)
Cost per Serving: $3.34
Bad Breath Factor: This sweet side/dessert is awesome. No gum required!
1) Serve warm. The pumpkin will start to shrivel as it cools-nothing major, but still takes away from the beauty of the dish. You'll want to put this on the table when it's still warm.
2) Be sure you don't overcook or the pumpkin will fall apart. You want the pumpkin to be slightly soft, but not too soft or else when you spoon out the stuffing or lightly scrape the sides, you'll scrape through the pumpkin.
3) I wish we had bought rum for this recipe-I bet that would be AMAZING! But even without it, this tasted GREAT!
4) Tip: When cutting the hole in the top of the pumpkin, don't cut a perfect circle. Since you have to replace the top, it's best to cut a little jagged so you know how the top fits back on the pumpkin. It'll make it a little easier.
5) Watch the bottom! We scraped the sides and bottom to get as much pumpkin mixed in as possible...but we scraped a little too much from the bottom of the pumpkin, where it cooked the most. If you're not careful, you'll scrape too much and it will start leaking. Be extra careful with the bottom. You'll also want to be careful when you transfer the pumpkin to the serving dish avoid the stuffing falling out of the bottom. We had no problem with that, but it could happen.
This really is a huge WOW dish: just imagine it! Bringing an entire pumpkin to the table on Thanksgiving, taking off the top of it, and having people scoop this amazing side dish out of a pumpkin! It's so unique and tasty, you'll love it! We'll be making this as a side in the future, without a doubt.