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Traditional Pumpkin Pie:

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups pumpkin (canned or puree)
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups half and half (whole milk can be substituted)
2/3 cup brown sugar
pinch salt
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
9 inch pie crust (from scratch or Pillsbury)


DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat over to 425F.

2. Place pumpkin in a bowl, add 2 tablespoons melted butter and stir well.

3. In a separate bowl, beat eggs well. Beat in milk, brown sugar, salt, and spices until thoroughly blended. Add in the pumpkin mixture, mix well.

4. Pour into pie shell and place in center oven rack at 425F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 30-40 minutes until the filling is firm.

5. Cool and serve with whipped cream.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons butter, melted
  • 1 pinch salt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
  2. Toss seeds in a bowl with the melted butter and salt. Spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown; stir occasionally.  Store in an air tight container.

Tips for Cooking Fresh Pumpkin:

The pumpkins you raise for Halloween decor are often too watery and tasteless for cooking. Although they will do if needed, try one of these varieties instead:

  • Small Sugar
  • New England pie pumpkins
  • Baby Pam or Lumina (these are white)
  • Well-seasoned chefs rely on the crook-necked pumpkin, which looks like a neck cushion and has bright orange, nearly string-less flesh that makes a perfect puree for baking.


Simply peel it, remove the seeds, cut into three- or four-inch pieces, and boil in a small amount of water for about 30 minutes. Using a food mill or food processor, puree the softened pumpkin until it's the consistency of applesauce.

Think about the mini pumpkins, too. They're not all for cooking, but hollow them out and you have a cute serving dish.

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 Easy Pumpkin Muffins:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 12 cup muffin pan or line with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves until smooth. Spoon equal amounts of batter into the prepared muffin cups.
  3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean.

**A family favorite of ours-not only easy but low fat!

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Decoration Frosting:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 4 drops red food coloring

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, confectioners' sugar, and milk until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and food coloring. Spread on or between cookies.