- 8 mini pumpkins (white or orange)
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- ½ onion, peeled and diced
- ½ carrot, peeled and diced
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme, stems removed, plus more for garnish
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- ½ tart apple, cored and unpeeled
- 8 ounces Gryffon’s Aerie sausage, casings removed
- 1½ cups crumbled cornbread (made from Wade’s Mill cornbread mix)
- 1 egg, beaten
Source your ingredients from these local establishments:
Wine-and-oregano sausage made from heritage-breed Tamworth pigs, raised at Gryffon’s Aerie in White Hall.
—Available at Stinson Vineyards (along with other flavors: bratwurst, hot Italian, and spicy Santa Fe).
Tart Fuji or Gold Rush apples from Saunders Brothers in Nelson County.
—Available at Saunders Brothers Farm Market.
Mini orange or white pumpkins, grown by Barajas Produce in Montross.
—Available at Charlottesville City Market.
Organic fresh thyme from Shenandoah Growers in Rockingham County.
—Available at Whole Foods in Charlottesville.
Cornbread mix with stoneground corn from Wade’s Mill in Raphine.
—Available at Virginia Born & Bred in Lexington, Food of All Nations and Feast in Charlottesville, and Cranberry’s and Shenandoah Hops in Staunton.
1. Cut off and reserve tops of mini pumpkins; scrape out and discard seeds. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion, carrot, and thyme, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Add sausage and apples and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat, and stir in cornbread. Let cool a few minutes, then stir in egg quickly.
4. Fill each pumpkin with a mound of mixture. Place them in a casserole dish, along with pumpkin tops. Bake 35 to 45 minutes, until stuffing is browned and pumpkin flesh on top edge is fork-tender.