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A pumpkin that looks like cheese; yes please. While the taste is not quite cheese-like, the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin got its name because the skin resembles the rind of cheese that was made during that time period—it’s been around since the 1800s. With a burnt sienna color and crooked stem, it’s the kind of pumpkin you’d draw a picture of on Halloween. One look will have you craving a crisp, fall day. One taste and you’ll wonder why anyone uses this pumpkin solely for decoration. It’s sweet, creamy and considered by some to be the only pumpkin worthy of baking into pie. Clearly, it isn’t officially the fall season until a Long Island Cheese Pumpkin graces your table, whether it’s as part of an Autumn-themed centerpiece or part of a pie. We prefer pie, of course. Cheese pumpkin pie, here we come.

Learn more about Long Island Cheese Pumpkin. 

How to roast a cheese pumpkin and make pumpkin puree: Preheat oven to 400F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a sharp knife, cut pumpkin in half lengthwise (this will take some elbow grease). Using a spoon, scoop out seeds and strings; discard. Place pumpkin halves cut site down on prepared baking sheet and roast until skin is golden brown and flesh gives easily when pressed, 45-60 minutes, depending on the size of your pumpkin. Let roasted pumpkin stand at room temperature. When cool enough to handle, scoop flesh into a food processor and discard pumpkin skin. Puree pumpkin until smooth – this may have to be done in 2 batches. When puree is completely cooled, transfer to an airtight container. Puree will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for about 4 months.

Crockpot Apple Pumpkin Buttah

Servings: 4-6 cups
Active: 25 minutes
Total: 8 hours


  • 1 ½ pounds apples, cored and diced (~6 cups)
  • 1 pound diced pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 3 whole cloves
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Pinch allspice
  • Squeeze of lemon (optional)
  • 2 cups water



Place all ingredients in crock pot and stir to combine. Cover and set to low setting. Cook for 8 hours, stirring every 2 hours or so. After 8 hours, remove lid and allow to cool slightly. Remove cloves. Using a slotting spoon, carefully transfer mixture to blender, allowing excess liquid to strain back into the crock pot. Add just enough of the juices from the crock pot to blend. Blend until smooth. Serve on toast, in oatmeal, or plain Jane! Save the extra liquid and reheat as mulled cider—it’s delicious!

Read more about how the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin has started to make its revival!

Recipe and food photography by Andrea Branchini, @dabblingchef