Pumpkin Pie in a Pumpkin

Two years ago, in my very first ES post ever, I wrote about a certain pair of two-year-olds and a stuffing-stuffed pumpkin.  Last year around this time, I changed things up and made a rice-stuffed pumpkin.  Now Halloween is gone, twins are almost five, Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, and I once again heard the call of the stuffed pumpkin.  But what to stuff it with this time?  I considered potatoes or quinoa, but those just seemed too…tame.  Then, inspiration struck.  Why not stuff a pumpkin with pumpkin pie?  Crazy.  I knew that this had major FFU potential, so I bought two pumpkins just in case.  Spoiler alert:  I still have the second pumpkin, uncut, on the kitchen shelf.  That’s right, folks.  I baked a pumpkin pie in a pumpkin. And you can too.  Here’s how:

Step one:  Bake the pumpkin.

When choosing a pumpkin, go with a small-to medium-sized one. Fewer bumps are ideal, or you will have to contend with holes when you peel it.

Cut the top off the pumpkin, then scrape out all the seeds and gross stringy bits. If you want, you can save the seeds and oven-roast them. Then put the whole hollowed-out pumpkin on a cookie sheet, place in a 350-degree oven, and bake until a fork goes through the skin easily. Let cool, then peel off the skin. To make the shell more or less pie-shaped, cut around the opening about a third of the way down the pumpkin until you have what looks like a bowl.  Reserve the cooked part that you removed for later.

Step two: Make a pie crust. 

With a pastry blender or two knives, cut 6 T. cubed butter into 1 1/2 c. flour + 3 T. sugar.  Add 4 T. cold water or milk.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then roll out.  Or just buy a pre-made pie crust.  I won’t judge you.  Press pie crust into the pumpkin shell.

Step three:  Make the filling.

Whisk together:

  • 3 eggs
  • Reserved pumpkin from step one, pureed
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream or evaporated milk
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/3 brown sugar
  • 1 t. each ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves

Pour mixture into pie crust-filled pumpkin.  You may have extra filling, so be careful not to overflow your pumpkin

Step four:  Glaze the pumpkin.

Melt 2 T. butter.  Stir in 1 T. sugar and 1 T. cinnamon.  Brush outside of pumpkin with mixture.

Step five:  Bake 45 minutes at 425 degrees.

Remove from oven and let sit for an hour until filling solidifies.

Step six:  Bask in the glory of a job well done, take pictures of your creation, eat and enjoy.

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  • Priya November 15, 2011  

    Love love love this idea! I am so making this for Thanksgiving!

  • BS November 15, 2011  

    this is fantastic! Do you eat the whole thing or is the baked outside of the pumpkin just for show?

  • Miss K November 15, 2011  

    We totally ate the whole thing. The pumpkin was thin enough that the squash taste wasn’t overwhelming, and brushing butter/sugar/cinnamon on the outside helped too.

  • erica November 15, 2011  

    i did this last year with mini-pumpkins experimental-style: halved, roasted, then blended raw cashews, agave, marsala wine, spices and salt. put that back in the ‘kins and roasted them. they turned out perfect 🙂 i didn’t glaze the pumpkin though, i think i put tin foil around it so it wouldn’t burn (?? hard to recall, there was wine going on…)

  • Mark Feeley November 26, 2013  

    I can’t wait to try this, ty kindly for the recipe.

  • amacker bullwinkle December 26, 2013  

    This is basically – maybe exactly- the same recipe from Jeff Smith which dates back as George Washington’s favorite dish

  • amacker bullwinkle December 26, 2013  

    I take it back! Was looking at another in-the-shell recipe. Yours is unique!! And I’m about to try it now! Thank you 🙂

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