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.
HOW TO ROAST:
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.
Easy Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread
Servings: 1 loaf
Active: 15 minutes
Total: 1 hour
- 2 cups gluten-free oats (not quick cooking)
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice (or use ¼ tsp ground cloves + ¼ tsp ground allspice + pinch ground ginger + pinch nutmeg)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional, but amazing)
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl (or blend all except the chocolate chips for a smoother texture, add chocolate chips at the end and stir to combine). Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-40 mins, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Recipe and food photography by Andrea Branchini, @dabblingchef