Thanksgiving Day is fast approaching and with it come thoughts of the traditional foods served at our respective Thanksgiving tables. Here is a recipe to try that can involve the help of younger children. It is called Thanksgiving Pumpkin. It is a recipe that I found years ago and began making when our grandchildren were old enough to help.
1 small pumpkin about 7 or 8 inches in diameter (choose one with a nice flat bottom)
2 c. apples, peeled and chopped (Macintosh or Cortland are best)
1 c. raisins
1 c. pecans or walnuts, chopped
1⁄4 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
1⁄4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1⁄4 tsp. grated nutmeg
1⁄2 c. apple juice or apple cider
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash the pumpkin and slice off the top to make a lid. Scrape out the seeds. Let the kids do this—it’s a messy job!
In a bowl, combine the apples, raisins, nuts, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and juice or cider. Pour the mixture into the cleaned pumpkin. Cut the butter into small bits and sprinkle on top. Cover with the pumpkin lid and set the pumpkin on a baking sheet. Bake until the apples are tender, approximately 1 1⁄2 hours (depending on the type of apples and the thickness of the pumpkin wall).
Serve hot or cold right from the pumpkin and make sure to scrape up a bit of the pumpkin with your serving. The Thanksgiving Pumpkin is very versatile. Some like it in lieu of cranberry sauce, some as an additional side dish. Serve any leftovers as a topping for vanilla ice cream or—my favorite—mix it in with oatmeal the following morning for a hearty breakfast.