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Edible pumpkins are very different than the jack-o-lanterns you see on Halloween. These pumpkins are generally smaller, sweeter, less fiberous, and the skin is thinner. . 

QUICK IDEAS: cut in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and roast in the oven with oil and salt; skin and cube the pumpkin and freeze for later; make pumpkin bread!

Spiced Pumpkin Butter: Makes 4 cups
from Savory Sweet Life

2 lbs pureed pumpkin (click here to learn how puree a pumpkin)
1 1/2 cups apple juice
1 cup granulated sugar (adjust this to taste...fresh local apples are naturally sweeter than store bought apples which means you do not need to add as much sugar to the recipe)
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (I make my own mixture by using cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom)

Directions
1) Combine all the ingredients in a large heavy bottom pot and bring to boil over medium high heat.
2) Reduce heat to very low and simmer for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes to keep it from burning.
3) Serve warm or cold. Store ina sealed jar up to 2 weeks.
**You can use a crock pot instead. Follow the same directions, but don't worry about stirring.


Pumpkin Soup: Serves 6

3 Cups cooked pumpkin, freshly pureed (you can sub butternut, acorn, red kuri)
4 cups water
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Up to 2 Cups minced onion or scallion
1 bell pepper, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon chile powder
2-3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice or apple cider vinegar
Toppings:
lightly toasted pumpkin seeds
finely minced scallions

Directions
1) Combine pumpkin and water in a soup pot and stir until uniform. Partially cover and heat gently, stirring often.
2) Heat oil in a medium-sized skillet. Add the onion and bell pepper and saute over medium heat for 5 minutes.
3) Add garlic, salt, and chile powder; stir and cover. Cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until veggies are tender.
4) Add the saute and lime juice or vinegar to the soup. Stir well, cover, and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.
5) Season to taste with black pepper and adjust salt if necessary. Serve hot topped with toasted pumpkin seeds and minced scallions.

Roast Pumpkin with Cheese "Fondue": Serves 4
from Gourmet Magazine, 2008

1 (8-inch) piece of baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices (3.5 oz total)
Pumpkins, totaling 3.5 lbs (You could use 4 small pumpkins...one for everybody, or even red kuri squash, too)
3/4 Cups heavy cream
1/2 Cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 1/2  Cups equal parts coarsely grated Gruyere and Emmental (or another hard swiss cheese)
1/2 Tablspoon olive oil

Directions
1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees with rack in lower third of the oven.
2) Toast baguette slices in 1 layer on a baking sheet in oven until tops are crisp (bread will still be pale) about 7 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool.
3) Remove top of pumpkin by cutting a circle around stem with a small sharp knife. Scrape out seeds and any loose fibers from inside pumpkin with a spoon (including top of pumpkin; reserve seesds for another use if you want).
4) Season inside pumpkins with salt.
5) Whisk together cream, broth, nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Mix together cheeses in another bowl.
6) Put a layer of toasted bread in the bottom of the pumpkins then cover with some cheese and the cream mixture. Continue layering bread, cheese and cram mixture until pumpkins are filled.
7) Cover pumpkins with the tops and put in oiled roasting pan. Brush outside of pumpkins with olive oil. Bake until pumpkins are tender and filling is puffed, about 1 hour (but make sure to test with a fork for tenderness).


Gingerbread Pumpkin Waffles: Makes 8 waffles
from Savory Sweet Life

1 1/2 cups flour
3 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup pumpkin, pureed (click here to learn how to)
1/4 cup molasses
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Directions
1) Heat waffle iron to high heat (this recipe could make pancakes, too)
2) In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves,and salt. Add the milk, pumpkin, molasses, butter, and oil, and stir until the batter is smooth.
3) Oil the waffle maker as needed. Spoon in the batter (don't over fill). Close the cover and cook until the maker is done, 5 to 8 minutes. This will vary depending on the waffle maker.
4) Repeat until the batter is done. I store the done waffles in the oven at 170.
Pumpkin