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Russian Stuffed Pumpkin

Author/Submitted by:
Servings: 8
Categories: Cookies / Desserts

4  lb  Pumpkin
1 1/2  c  Long-grain rice
2  lg  Tart cooking apples (like
    -Granny Smith), peeled,
    -cored and diced
1/2  c  Golden raisins
1/2  c  Dried sour cherries
    -(available in specialty
    -food stores)
8  tb  (1 stick) unsalted butter,
1  tb  Sugar or more to taste
3/4  ts  Ground cinnamon
    Salt to taste
1/4  c  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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