The concept behind this recipe is to reproduce what the "original" American Pumpkin Pie might have been - pumpkin custard baked inside of a pumpkin. The meat of the pumpkin, when baked, is completely edible and delicious and gives kids (and adults too!) an idea of where the canned pumpkin puree comes from. Plus it’s lots of fun for kids to bake and serve.
The recipe works better in a small pumpkin which has some meaty edible flesh like a Pie Pumpkin. Tiny pumpkins can be used, with a reduced cooking time. Also, to make it more “authentic", brown sugar might not have been available to early settlers; you could substitute maple sugar or maple syrup. This is also a fun kids recipe for Thanksgiving.
1 2lb. sugar pie pumpkin
2 large eggs
1/4 c honey
3/4 c heavy whipping cream - whipped
1/4c packed dark brown sugar
1 - 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (to taste)
1 tbsp butter (soft)
1 can pumpkin pie puree (15-oz.)
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Cut top off pumpkin (as you would a jack-o'-lantern). Scoop out seeds and stringy bits. Butter inside slightly and set in an oven-proof pan or plate. Set in preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until flesh is softened (so that you can stick a fork into it easily).
Meanwhile combine custard ingredients and set aside.
Remove pumpkin from oven and reduce oven temperature to 400°F (convection if you have it).
Pour custard in, until pumpkin is 80% full* and place top slightly askew. Return to oven for about 30 minutes or until custard is set.
Serve sliced from top to bottom with freshly whipped cream.
*Extra custard can be used as individual custard cups - butter ramekins, pour in custard and bake until internal temp is 180°F or about 15 mins. Or you can pour the remaining custard into a pie shell and bake as a standard wonderful pumpkin pie - about 30mins at 400°F.