The New England Sugar Pie Pumpkin — Stuffed!

Today we see pumpkins at farm markets and grocery stores — even piled on flat-bed trailers in parking lots — and we make sure to buy (at least) one to decorate our front porches. These pumpkins are bred to be lightweight and hollow (so we don’t have to scoop out so many seeds when we carve them), and if you’ve tried cooking one to make a pie, it just doesn’t work out so well.

Enter the Pie Pumpkin!

Traditionally, folks roasted or baked pie pumpkins, scooped out the sweet and creamy flesh and made desserts (like the famous pie of course) and savory dishes (like soup).

Years ago, a friend gave me a fantastic baked pumpkin recipe. I thought I’d share that recipe with you, and inspire you to search for even more ways to use the delicious pie pumpkin!

Baked Stuffed Pumpkin

Wash the outside of a pie pumpkin (the smaller the pumpkin, the faster it will cook through); carve a lid in the top (leaving the stem as a handle) and scoop the seeds and string-i-ness out.

Rub the inside of the pumpkin liberally with butter (the more the buetter).

Now, pour 1/4 – 1/3 c of brown sugar into the pumpkin and spread it around in the butter coating.

Mix dry stuffing mix (pepperidge farms works well – or you can make your own) with 1 lb. of browned ground sausage (still hot). The mixture will have some wetness to it, but if it is mostly dry, then add some hot water until you are able to “mold” the mixture in your hand.

Next, scoop the stuffing into the pumpkin, put the lid on, and set it on a cookie sheet. Then place it in a preheated 325-350-degree oven for 30 minutes to an hour (until it shrinks and feels soft to touch). Take it out of the oven and let it cool down with the lid on.

While it’s still warm, take the lid off, and with a rigid spoon, start stirring inside the pumpkin — making sure to scrape the cooked pumpkin off the sides so it combines with the stuffing mixture.

Then serve the whole pumpkin on a pretty platter!