Serve an impressive dinner party dessert stuffed in the season's signature fruit. This top-rated pumpkin recipe calls for all our favorite ingredients: butter, sugar, pecan, cranberries, and a rich Lemon-Vanilla Sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 (2 1/2- to 3-pound) pumpkin*
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted and divided
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1 (16-ounce) raisin bread loaf, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
  • Lemon-Vanilla Sauce

Preparation

  1. Cut off top of pumpkin, reserving lid with stem. Scoop out pumpkin seeds and pulp, and reserve for another use. Brush inside of pumpkin shell with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Top with lid.
  2. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes.
  3. Brush inside of baked pumpkin shell with 1 tablespoon butter; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar.
  4. Stir together eggs and next 6 ingredients; spoon pudding mixture into a lightly greased 8-inch square pan.
  5. Bake pumpkin and bread pudding at 350° for 25 minutes. Let pumpkin cool; spoon bread pudding evenly into pumpkin shell. Serve with Lemon-Vanilla Sauce.
  6. Note: For individual servings, substitute 12 (1/2-pound) pumpkins. Scoop out seeds and pulp; sprinkle each pumpkin shell with 1 teaspoon butter and 1 teaspoon sugar, and bake with the bread pudding. (Do not prebake as with the larger pumpkin.) Spoon bread pudding evenly into baked pumpkin shells.

October 2002