Yummy pumpkin recipes from top NYC chefs

Call it the Great Pumpkin Challenge.

When a pumpkin weighing in 1,436 pounds was donated to City Harvest, a New York City food charity that transports restaurants' leftovers to local food shelters and kitchens, the obvious question was -- what to do with it.

Enter several of the city's leading chefs.

As "Early Show" contributor Taryn Winter Brill reports, they went to work, carving and cooking, slicing and dicing.

The result?

Amazing dishes -- everything from salad to dessert.

And the best part about it? All the food went to feed the hungry.



From Executive Chef Ron Ben Israel, of "Ron Ben-Israel Cakes"

Recipe will yield one 8 inch-by-8-inch baking dish, or individual ramekins.


  • 5 cups cubed (1-inch) day-old baguette or crusty bread
  • 3 oz unsalted butter (3/4 stick)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Toss the bread cubes and butter

Transfer bread cubes to a baking dish or individual ramekins


  • 1 cup heavy cream plus 1/2 cup whole milk (or 1.5 cups half and half cream)
  • 3/4 cup fresh pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves


Pour mixture over bread cubes.

Bake until set, 25 to 30 minutes.


From Executive Chef Ron Ben Israel, of "Ron Ben-Israel Cakes"

Medium size pumpkin (about 4 lb) will yield 1.5 cups of puree.

This will be enough for one recipe of the bread pudding, and the leftover can be refrigerated for up to three days. It can also be frozen in a tight plastic bag for up to six months.


Cut the pumpkin in half and discard the stem section and stringy pulp. (Save the seeds to dry and roast.) For a large pumpkin, cut into chunks.

In a shallow baking dish, place the two halves face down and cover with foil

Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F oven for about 1½ hours, or until tender.

Once the baked pumpkin has cooled, scoop out the flesh and puree or mash it.

For silky smooth custards or soups, press the pumpkin puree through a sieve

Microwave Method:

Cut the pumpkin in half, discarding the stringy insides

Microwave on high power for seven minutes per pound, turning pieces every few minutes to promote even cooking. Process as above.

For more recipes, go to Page 2.