10 ways to make the most of pumpkin season, from baking treats to home decor
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Fall is the quintessential time of year for leaf-peeping, apple picking and frolicking through pumpkin patches. If you’ve already made a trip to the patch and have come home with more fresh pumpkins than you know what to do with, we’re here to help. Like apples, pumpkins are a versatile fruit—they can be made into pumpkin pie, pureed or even used in mac and cheese this season. Whether you prefer to bake, decorate or store your pumpkins for later use, here are 10 ways to make the most of pumpkin season.
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1. Carve your pumpkins with ease
There’s still time to make a ghoulish Jack-O-Lantern for Spooky Season. Set up a pumpkin carving night with the family and get creative. Buying the right carving kit can help to carve with precision and can keep your fingers safe from accidental cuts. Our favorite pumpkin carving kit is a classic: the Pumpkin Masters All-In-One Kit. This old-school carving kit comes with four tools that are safe and effective in carving your precious pumpkins with ease.
$10 from Amazon
2. Make this fun pumpkin mac and cheese recipe
One reason we love fall so much is simply the fact that there are so many festive recipes to try, from tried-and-true recipes passed down from generations to the viral ones on TikTok. This one’s sure to be a hit at your next get-together: pumpkin mac and cheese.
To make a one-pot pumpkin mac and cheese like this one from USA TODAY’s ProblemSolved, we recommend using a quality stainless steel stockpot like one from the Cuisinart Multiclad 12-Piece Cookware Set. As our best value choice for cookware sets for induction cooking, the Cuisinart set offers incredible performance at a decent price—the stockpot is especially great for pasta and soup, too.
You can also try using a trusty slow cooker for your fall-inspired mac and cheese dish. We prefer the Cuisinart 3-in-1 Cook Central after testing a variety of slow cookers, as we found it cooks food to perfection and is super easy to use.
$225 from Amazon
$160 from Amazon
3. Bake a top-notch pumpkin pie
In the great debate of which pie is the best pie, we’d say pumpkin pie is up there as a top contender. No matter if you’re baking a pumpkin pie from scratch or using store-bought ingredients (hey, both are equally as delicious), you’ll need a pie dish for your fresh-baked goods.
Out of all the pie dishes we put to the test (by baking delicious pies in them, of course), we found the Emile Henry Modern Classics Pie Dish to be the best one. It’s a beautiful addition to your baking collection that’s sure to impress guests. Not to mention, it’s dishwasher, microwave and high-heat safe.
$35 from Sur La Table
4. Make your own pumpkin puree
If you find you’ve collected quite a few pumpkins in your home this month, you can go beyond quick desserts and make pumpkin bases like a pumpkin puree. Pumpkin puree can be used in tons of recipes, plus it can be used to add a pumpkin-y touch to your oatmeal, a pot of chili or even in your morning cup of joe. Making a whipped puree for your latte is actually quite easy—all you’ll need is your pumpkins (baked in the oven) and a food processor to create that air-light consistency.
We’ve tested plenty of food processors and found the Cuisinart “Custom 14” to excel at any task in the kitchen, so we’re sure this processor can handle whipping up a smooth and delicious pumpkin puree. This food processor is also space-saving and relatively quiet for a blending device.
$230 from Amazon
5. Paint your pumpkins
Another way to adorn your home with pumpkin décor is by painting your pumpkins. Get the family together this weekend for painting fun—just make sure you’ve got the right supplies before you start. We’d recommend top-rated acrylic paints that’ll stick to your pumpkin surfaces like the Crafts 4 All Acrylic 12-Pack. Reviewers love that the paint is good quality at an even better price.
The brushes that you use can help you to really get creative. You can use classic nylon paintbrushes to create fine strokes and details. Art sponges are also great tools for creating a funky stippling effect on the pumpkins.
$10 from Amazon
$7 from Amazon
$5 from Amazon
6. Bake a delicious loaf of pumpkin bread
Pumpkin bread is a fan-favorite dessert during the fall season. If you’ve got a plethora of pumpkins lying around, break out your baking materials and prepare to make a yummy loaf. For a loaf pan that’s been tested and approved by the Reviewed team, the Rachael Ray Yum-o! Oven Lovin’ Loaf Pan is hard to beat. It can fit a large capacity of loaf (who can argue with more pumpkin bread?) and features a dark nonstick material that allows the bread to develop a delicious crust. The pan also has large silicone handles that make handling the pan easy.
$14 from Amazon
7. Make your own pumpkin pizza
Wait, did we just say pumpkin pizza? Yes, we did, and—spoiler alert—it’s delicious. ProblemSolved shared a pumpkin pizza recipe that creates the perfect union of sweet and savory that is sure to be a hit for family dinners or while watching Sunday Night Football. If you’ve never made your own pizza at home, don’t worry—all you need is a few tools to make the perfect pizza.
A pizza stone can help elevate your pizzas to restaurant-quality levels. Our favorite one is the Lodge Pro-Logic Cast Iron Pizza Pan. This portable pan is safe to use in ovens, grills and even on campfires and really retains its heat when cooking. It also happens to be the easiest to clean out of all the ones we tested.
Of course, you’ll need a pizza cutter to slice up your pizza for serving. For a highly efficient cutter that’s perfect for pizza parties specifically, we love Dreamfarm Scizza Pizza Scissors that can make it through even the thickest crust and gooiest cheese.
$60 from Amazon
$35 from Amazon
8. Can your pumpkins to enjoy later
If you’ve taken home one too many pumpkins, don’t worry—you can still store your precious picks for future recipes. Like other fruits and vegetables, you can jar or can pumpkin for future purees, butters and more fall treats. All you need is a pot for boiling your pumpkin in and mason jars to store the result. The Ball Mason Wide Mouth Jars are perfect for canning—they’re airtight and are sure to keep your goods fresh for a long time.
$27 from Amazon
9. Whip up pumpkin ice cream
While we’re on the topic of creative pumpkin recipes, pumpkin ice cream is delicious and we’re sure you’ll love it if you love all things pumpkin. ProblemSolved’s pumpkin ice cream recipe is a sweet fall treat to share with friends and family—and it’s surprisingly easy to make at home. For this recipe, you’ll need to whip cream to get it ready to become ice cream and a good hand mixer can help you make fluffy cream in an instant. The best hand mixer we’ve ever tested is the Cuisinart Power Advantage Hand Mixer. It’s easy to handle, features intuitive speed controls that are easy to work with and the attachments are dishwasher safe.
$70 from Amazon
10. Roast pumpkin seeds for a snack
Roasted pumpkin seeds are delicious to snack on, no matter the season. To make your own perfectly roasted seeds, you’ll need a good baking sheet to cook them evenly to the ideal level of crispiness. The Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker’s Half Sheet is our favorite baking sheet because of its even heat distribution and because it is large enough to cook many seeds at once, but surprisingly lightweight making it easy to handle.
$24 from Amazon
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