12 Essential Tools to Make the Most of Your Halloween Pumpkin
Here's how to have the best pumpkin season ever.
This story originally appeared on Foodandwine.com by Julia Heffelfinger.
Fall is finally in full swing, which means we can finally take adventage of our favorite fall activities. Whether it's hot apple cider, hay rides or cozy comfort food, we're here for all of it. First on our to-do list? Picking up our pumpkins. From jack-o-lanterns to epic desserts, pumpkins are insanely versatile. The buck does not stop at carving: make your own puree for soups or desserts, roast the seeds for snacking, or turn the sweet flesh into a silky (and giftable!) pumpkin butter. The possibilities are endless. To make sure that you are ready to live your best fall life, check out our list of all of the gear you'll need to make the most of your pumpkin.
This is the year you're going to turn that pumpkin into a work of art. For that, you'll need this epic 13-piece carving set. It includes everything you'll need for scooping, carving, cutting and sculpting. We guarantee you'll have the best pumpkins on the block.
13-Piece Professional Pumpkin Carving Set, $14 at amazon.com
In addition to your carving set, be sure to grab candles to show off your masterpiece. These tealights have a 12 hour burn time, plus they come in their own glass votive holders which helps with the wind.
12-Piece Votive Set, $16 at amazon.com
You'll need a strong knife to tackle a big pumpkin. For that, a heavy-duty German knife like this 8-inch chef's knife from Wüsthof will do the trick. It also happens to be an incredibly durable knife with a razor-sharp blade that will last you for decades.
Wüsthof 8-inch Classic Chef's Knife, $130 at amazon.com
Homemade pumpkin puree is easier to make than you think. The key is to have a go food processor so you can get it extra-smooth. Begin by cleaning your pumpkin (as if you were going to carve it), then split it in half from top to bottom. Arrange the halves on a rimmed baking sheet cut side down and bake in a 400°F oven until easily pierced by a paring knife, about 45 minutes for a 6-pound pumpkin. Scoop the flesh into the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth.
Cuisinart Elemental 8-Cup Food Processor, $71 at amazon.com
Once you have your homemade pumpkin puree ready to go, use it to make a creamy pumpkin pie. If a recipe calls for a 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree, that equates to a little less than 2 cups of the homemade stuff. We love how the forest green color of this Emile Henry ruffled pie dish contrasts with the vibrant orange pie filling.
Emile Henry Ruffled Pie Dish in Spruce, $40 at williams-sonoma.com
If you're not a pumpkin pie fan (or you just really love pumpkin), then try out this Pumpkin Tiramisu. Pumpkin puree is mixed with brown sugar and spices and then aerated with whipped cream and mascarpone cheese until light and fluffy. Then, layer the pumpkin cream with coffee-dipped lady finger cookies in this elegant glass trifle bowl so everyone can admire your handiwork.
4-Quart Glass Trifle Bowl, $32 at williams-sonoma.com
One of the things we love about pumpkin is that it can go sweet or savory. Try it out in this cozy Pumpkin Lasagna layered with wilted Swiss chard, fresh sage and scented with a bit of nutmeg. This Dansk baker is deep enough to fit this hulking lasagna, plus it's sleek enough to take right from the oven to the table for serving.
Dansk Kobenstyle Baker, $120 from food52.com
Rimmed Baking Sheet
These rimmed Nordic Ware half baking sheets are probably the most used pieces of equipment in our test kitchen. The high edges keep all of our food on the sheet, while the thick aluminum holds up to all temperatures and doesn't warp. Use them to make these super-snackable Chile-Lime-Roasted Pumpkin Seeds – they're zippy, salt and make for a great drinking snack.
Nordic Ware Commercial Baker's Half Sheet (2 Pack), $27 at amazon.com
While pumpkins are abundant and their flesh is at its sweetest, turn them into a big batch of creamy pumpkin soup. This recipe only calls for a few accessible ingredients, is vegetarian friendly and freezes very well. Whip it up in this 8-quart All-Clad pot – the thick stainless-steel walls will protect your soup from scorching on the bottom.
All-Clad Stainless Steel 8-Quart Pot, $345 at macys.com
Make homemade pumpkin soup even easier by puréeing it right in the pot with this handheld immersion blender from KitchenAid. With 2-speeds, it will easily break down the tender pieces of pumpkin. It's also a great tool for (quickly!) whipping heavy cream for topping pie.
KitchenAid 2-Speed Hand Blender, $46 at amazon.com
Pumpkin butter is easy to make and wildly addictive. This recipe toes the line between sweet and savory and is phenomenal smeared on a thick piece of toast or tossed with hot pasta and butter. Make a big batch and then pack it up in these classic Weck jars for a thoughtful hostess gift.
Weck 12.5-ounce Jars (Set of 6), $30 at williams-sonoma.com
Pick up seasonal cut flowers or a big pot of crimson mums and turn your hollowed-out pumpkin into a vase. It's festive and looks great on your dining table or front steps. To make it even easier, order a ready-to-go arrangement from Bouqs and then pick up a pumpkin to match.
Floral arrangement, Starting at $39 at bouqs.com
Related: How to Carve a Pumpkin
This article originally appeared on Foodandwine.com
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