Fall is my most favorite time of year. By far. I love the crisp of the air, I love the changing colors in the mountains. They say your most favorite season is the one you first fell in love with. For me, this is true. I fell in love during Autumn. So besides that nostalgic rush of memory that revives and tingles my endorphines, I embrace the pumpkins and the jonathan apples and the Autumn brown/copper/orange/yellow/burgundy colors.
I decided I liked pumpkins so much I was going to use them as a container for my pumpkin desserts this year. Because you normally have to cook pumpkin for about an hour I was concerned about the integrity of my “container” so I opted just to create the shell as a base and place my already cooked pumpkins into the scooped out base. I had to choose a pumpkin that was large enough to set a pumpkin sized pie into the base. Consequently I needed to cut about four inches from the center of the pumpkin so I could have a cover-looking sized cover for the top.
So if you are going to do this, choose a large enough pumpkin, make sure you clean out the bottom well enough to place a pumpkin pie.
It makes a delightful setting! I did two pies: one a traditional pumpkin pie with baked leaf pieces (you can dust with cinnamon sugar or glaze with an apricot or strawberry jam to make the shimmery ones) prior to cooking. Not only are they easy to do, they are very tasty and compliment the pie.
I also did a pumpkin dessert. Super easy and very tasty. I love streusel-type toppings on just about anything.
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 (29 oz) can pumpkin
1/2 c brown sugar
2/3 c milk
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 c butter, chilled
1/2 c white sugar
3/4 chopped walnuts or pecans
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
2. Set aside 1 cup of cake mix. Combine remaining cake mix with melted butter and 1 egg and mix until well blended; spread mixture in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
3. In a large bowl combine pumpkin, brown sugar, milk, 3 eggs and pumpkin pie spice; mix well and pour this mixture over cake mix mixture in baking dish.
4. In a small bowl with a pastry blender, or in a food processor, combine chilled butter and white sugar with reserved cake mix until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle chopped walnuts over all.
5. Bake 45 to 50 minutes, until top is golden.