Put a twist on a tasty Thanksgiving classic! While most of us reach for the can of pumpkin puree when it comes time for our Thanksgiving baking, roasting a pumpkin is a very simple process and makes for a sublime, fresh pumpkin puree. It’s also a fun way to cook with your kids in the kitchen. The "sugar pie” pumpkin is ideal for roasting in this recipe.

What You Need:

  • 1 small “sugar pie” pumpkin (about 3-4 pounds)
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 single pastry crust, baked for 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven and cooled to room temperature

What You Do to Roast the Pumpkin:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Slice off the top of the pumpkin and split the pumpkin in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and all the stringy flesh. Place the pumpkin halves cut side down onto the baking sheet.
  3. Bake until the flesh is soft, about 50 minutes. Allow to slightly cool, then scoop out the flesh and place into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix until the pumpkin is completely mashed and smooth. You will have about 2 cups of pumpkin puree.

What You Do to Make the Pie:

  1. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
  2. Pour the cream cheese, pumpkin puree, sugar and spices into a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix until thoroughly combined.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, cream, and butter. Add to the pumpkin mixture and mix until just combined.
  4. Pour into the cooled pastry shell. Bake at 375 degrees for about 50 minutes, until the outer part of the pie is firm and the center almost set.

Now that you know how easy it is it roast a pumpkin, you can employ this technique to make a veggie side, the base of a pumpkin soup or even whip up some pumpkin butter for your breakfast toast—pumpkin is a lot more versatile a veggie than we give it credit!