Looking for inspiration on what to cook up with a Long Island Cheese pumpkin? We got plenty for you in this post featuring sweet and savory recipes. And if you have not heard of these pumpkins yet, we will fill you in as well! Also will show you how to cook them.
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There is nothing better in the fall than a good pumpkin recipe.
I cook or bake up plenty during the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.
While the standard pie pumpkin is the pumpkin I use most often, it's not my favorite. For that I turn to the Long Island Cheese pumpkin.
❓ Why this Pumpkin?
It's my favorite pumpkin for baking because
- It's easier to slice into than pie pumpkins
- It produces a sweet pumpkin puree that is not too stringy
- You get a lot of pumpkin for your money
- The interior is a bright orange color
- It's cool looking! I display them until I am ready to cook them.
With the increase of demand for different types of pumpkins with stores putting up displays of "Cinderella" pumpkins often including the Long Island Cheese, you would think this is a new type of pumpkin. Actually it's been around since the 1800s!
It got it's name because of it's unique shape that looks like a wheel of cheese. It's one of the earliest varieties of American pumpkins.
In the 1960s-1970s the pumpkin started disappearing from seed catalogs. Thankfully someone noticed and started growing more to save this variety from going away for good.
The pumpkin now is a part of the Slow Food Ark of Taste, a collection of the most flavorful fruits and veggies on the plant. So it should be safe now for generations to come.
🔥 How to Cook
Whatever type of pumpkin I have I always roast it in the oven. Here is how it's done.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. You want a higher temperature than the standard 350.
- Cut the pumpkin in half and then cut each half into two pieces.
- Scoop out the seeds. I like to do this with my ice cream scoop. Save them for roasting.
- Season the flesh pumpkin with kosher salt to taste.
- Place onto a sheet pan with the flesh side down. I like to line the sheet pan with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper to make clean up easier. The sugars in the pumpkin could easily burn onto your sheet pan, making it hard to clean.
- Using a knife or fork poke some holes in the pumpkin for steam to be released.
- Roast for 30 to 45 minutes until the pumpkin is fork tender. The timing really depends on the size of your pumpkin. They vary so much that it's better to give you a range and have you start checking 30 minutes in.
- Allow pumpkin to cool. Then scoop the flesh out of the skin. Now it's ready to be used in recipes. You can smooth it out more using a blender. Or just eat it immediately with some butter and freshly cracked black pepper.
I have used Long Island Cheese pumpkins for many of my pumpkin recipes. It really works with any type of pumpkin recipes. It's never done me wrong!
Let me share with you some of the best.
🥧 Sweet Recipes
Here are some sweet recipes to try out with Long Island Cheese pumpkins:
The bright, orange interior of the pumpkin means lot of beta carotene. Putting that pumpkin into sweets makes me feel a little better about indulging my sweet tooth.
If you are looking for breakfast ideas, try out our overnight Pumpkin waffles. You make the batter the night before with yeast and let it slowly rise in the fridge while you sleep. Then your waffles are ready to be made first thing in the morning.
Or make these mini donuts that are super fun for the kids to decorate.
A mini donut pan is not required but makes them simple to make.
Of course you can't forget pumpkin pie. This is where the pumpkin really shines. I have to say my favorite pumpkin pie recipe is Alton Brown's. I have been making it for years, even came up with a Sous Vide version of the recipe.
🍝 Savory Recipes
Here are some savory recipes to try out with Long Island Cheese pumpkins:
For some savory snacking, give our Pumpkin Hummus a try. It's so easy to incorporate pumpkin puree into hummus as they are similar in texture. You can add a little turmeric if you want a little more pumpkin color.
Fold up some wonton wrappers into little envelope filled with a pumpkin filling and you are ready to drop them into chicken stock to warm you up on a brisk fall evening.
Another great way to be savory with pumpkin is to use it to make a sauce that goes perfect on your favorite pasta.
🎃 Roasting the Seeds
Just as your Jack o'Lantern, Long Island Cheese seeds are great for roasting. So don't toss them out!
🥣 Use as a Bowl
This is an idea that I have not tried yet, but would be really fun, especially if you have guests over. Make a soup and serve it right out of the pumpkin. The flatten shape makes for a wide bowl that you can easily get into. You would just need to hallow out the pumpkin.
What have you used a Long Island pumpkin to make? Let us know in the comments below.
- Long Island Cheese Pumpkin
- kosher salt to taste
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut the pumpkin in half and then cut each half into two pieces. Scoop out the seeds.
- Liberally add kosher salt to the flesh of pumpkin.
- Place onto a sheet pan with the flesh side down. Using a knife or fork poke some holes in the pumpkin for steam to be released.
- Roast for 30 to 45 minutes until the pumpkin is fork tender. Start checking at the 30 minute mark.
- Allow pumpkin to cool before scooping out the flesh. The pumpkin is ready to use in recipes. You can puree in a blender or with an immersion blender to make it smoother.