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Dessert in a Pumpkin Shell

From Lynne Wilson

Preheat oven to 350ºF


1 sugar pumpkin (3 to 5 pounds) or 2 smaller ones
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
¼ tsp. cinnamon
gingerbread or spice cake batter or bread pudding mixture


Cut off the pumpkin top straight across and clean out the pumpkin thoroughly. Put the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in the pumpkin shell. Place the shell in the oven and heat for 20 to 30 minutes. Brush the butter and sugar around the inside of the shell several times while it heats.

When the pumpkin shell is hot, brush the butter and sugar around the inside once more and pour out the remaining syrup and accumulated juices. Add the batter, filling the pumpkin two-thirds full to allow room for expansion. Better to cook two small pumpkins than to have the batter spill out over your oven.

Bake at 350ºF until done. Allow more time than the filling recipe usually takes. For instance, a gingerbread mix that calls for 30 minutes baking time, takes 45 minutes to 1 hour. The pumpkin will be soft and ready to eat when the filling is baked. Cool slightly. Decorate the top with whipped cream or cut the pumpkin into wedges and serve ice cream beside each wedge.

Use a short, fat (squatty) pumpkin so there is a wide opening and more batter is exposed to the oven heat.