Russian stuffed pumpkin

Yield: 8 servings

Measure Ingredient
4 pounds Pumpkin
1½ cup Long-grain rice
2 larges Tart cooking apples (like Granny Smith), peeled, cored and diced
½ cup Golden raisins
½ cup Dried sour cherries (available in specialty food stores)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon Sugar or more to taste
¾ teaspoon Ground cinnamon
\N \N Salt to taste
¼ cup Hot water

This spectacular stuffed pumpkin can be the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving table. Pumpkin is stuffed with rice, apples, raisins and sour cherries, then baked.

Cut the stem end of the pumpkin as if you were about to carve a jack o'lantern. Set aside "lid". Remove insides of pumpkin and discard (or save to roast and munch on). Using a grapefruit knife or melon baller, scoop out the flesh of the pumpkin as much as you can without piercing the skin. Chop flesh and set aside.

In lg saucepan, bring 3 qts of salted water to boil and dump in the rice. Cook over high heat, covered until still a bit hard to the bite...about 15 minutes. Drain well.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In large bowl, combine, pumpkin, partially cooked rice, raisins, dried sour cherries and melted butter. Season with sugar, salt and cinamon. Spoon stuffing loosely into pumpkin, sprinkle with the hot water and put "lid" on tightly. Place on baking sheet and bake till pumpkin is tender to a point of a knife...about 2 hrs. Cut into wedges and serve.

Serves 8

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