Fall is just around the corner, before we know it we will see houses being decorated; pumpkins for sale to celebrate this time of year. Today, we are getting a head start on some ways to put those pumpkins to use. We are even including a recipe to make your own pumpkin puree from fresh pumpkins.

HOW TO PREPARE A PUMPKIN (HOW TO BAKE T A PUMPKIN) IN 3 EASY STEPS!

INGREDIENTS

An edible pumpkin

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C)

Cut the pumpkin in half, from top to bottom (not side to side), then remove the seeds and stringy bits (keep the seeds to toast, if desired). use a pumpkin scraper to make the job much easier, but it’s not necessary.

Next, place both halves cut side down on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet and place in a preheated oven for about an hour or until soft. You can press on the pumpkin to test it. Remove from oven when ready. When cool, use the same pumpkin scraper or some other similar tool to scoop the flesh from the skin of the pumpkin. The pumpkin separated from the skin on its own with this pumpkin! Place in a bowl and keep refrigerated (or freeze) until ready to use in recipes, such as pies, muffins or desserts. If you want pumpkin purée, just blend it up in a food processor, so easy! If you want to put some in the freezer, just make sure there’s no air in the containers or bags.

(christinascucina.com)

PUMPKIN SPICE PANCAKES

INGREDIENTS

11/2 c. all-purpose flour

3 tsp. baking powder

2 tbsp. packed light brown sugar

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1 c. milk

1 c. pumpkin puree

2 large eggs

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Butter, for cooking

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.

In a separate bowl, whisk together milk and pumpkin puree, then add eggs and stir in vanilla.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.

Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When butter is foamy, reduce heat to medium-low and ladle pancake batter into skillet. Cook until bubbles start to form in batter and pancake is golden underneath, about 3 minutes then flip and cook the other side until golden, another 3 minutes.

Repeat with remaining batter.

(delish.com)

EASY PUMPKIN CAKE

INGREDIENTS

Cooking spray

2 c. all-purpose flour

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened

1 c. packed brown sugar

1/2 c. granulated sugar

4 large eggs

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin puree

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl using a hand mixer (or in the bowl of a stand mixer), beat butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and pumpkin puree and beat until incorporated. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared baking pan and smooth top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean, 30 minutes. Let cool completely.

Meanwhile, make frosting: In a large bowl using a hand mixer (or in the bowl of a stand mixer), beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat until no lumps remain, then add vanilla and a pinch of salt.

Lift cake out of pan by parchment paper and place on serving platter or cutting board. Frost cake using an offset spatula and top with crushed gingersnaps.

(delish.com)

FOR THE FROSTING

1 (8-oz.) block cream cheese, softened

4 tbsp. butter, softened

2 c. powdered sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Pinch kosher salt

Crushed gingersnaps, for topping

MAPLE-WALNUT PUMPKIN PIE

INGREDIENTS

1 crust from 1 box (14.1 oz) refrigerated Pillsbury™ Pie Crusts (2 Count), softened as directed on box

Filling

1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)

2 eggs

2 tablespoons real maple syrup or maple-flavored syrup

1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Streusel

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons cold butter or margarine

Topping

1 cup whipping cream

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

Chopped walnuts, if desired

(pillsbury.com)

— Times Leader staff