Pick the Perfect Pumpkin, FCBuzz!

The season of fall is synonymous with the round orange beauty - known as the pumpkin!

Feel like day-tripping for pumpkins? We made a list of some of the popular pumpkin picking destinations in Connecticut.

As October comes to a close, savor the pumpkin by taking it to the kitchen. We have also included a fall-favorite recipe “Pumpkin Cheesecake” courtesy of local baker, John Barricelli, owner of SoNo Baking Company.

Jones Family Farms is located at 266 Israel Hill Road, Shelton, CT. The official opening of the Farm’s Pumpkin Season is this Saturday, September 29!

For additional information, visit Jones Family Farm online or call (203) 929-8425

Warrups Farm is located at 51 John Read Road, West Redding, CT.

Warrup’s Farm is a small farm using organic methods, operated by the Hill family.

During October weekends & Columbus Day Monday, pick pumpkins off the vine.

Visit them online here or call (203) 938-9403

Grieg Farm is located at 227 Pitcher Ln, Red Hook, NY.

Enjoy 400 acres of rustic charm, make friends with the goats, and shop the farmers market seven days a week. Greig Farm 9 am to 7 pm for picking apples and pumpkins.

Visit Grieg Farm online here

Blue Jay Orchards is located at 125 Plum Tree Road in Bethel.

While the farm has a large pumpkin patch, they don't offer "pick your own". The farm does offer pick your own apples.

Visit them online here for call (203) 748-0119

Read more about Pick-Your-Own farms in Connecticut here!

Pumpkin pie is a right of passage for autumn. But for a twist on the familiar, this recipe for pumpkin cheesecake by master baker and HamletHub contributor John Barricelli, owner of The SoNo Bakery & Cafe is light, flavorful, and a crowd pleaser!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Makes one 10-inch cheesecake

Graham Cracker Crust 1-1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and then slightly cooled

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature for at least 6 hours

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree

1 tablespoon brandy

1 tablespoon heavy cream

4 large eggs


1. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 by 2-inch cake pan; set aside.

2. To make the crust: In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Using your hands, mix thoroughly until the ingredients come together. Pres teh graham cracker mixture over just the bottom of the prepared pan; set aside.

3. To make the filling: In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and flour; set aside.

4. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl halfway through. With the mixer on low, gradually add the sugar-spice mixture; mix until combined. Add the pumpkin, brandy, and heavy cream; mix until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until combined.

5. Set the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Bring water to a boil for a water bath.

6. Place the cake pan in a roasting pan. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the cake pan. Place the roasting pan in the oven and pour in the boiling water to come about 1/2 inch up the sides of the cake pan. Bake until the filling is set but still jiggles slightly in the center, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the water bath and let cool to room temperature. Chill for at least 6 hours, or overnight, in the pan.

7. To finish, heat the bottom of the pan over a flame or an electric element to loosen the crust. Invert the pan onto a 9-inch cake round or large plate. Remove the pan from the cake and invert once more onto a 9-inch round or large plate so that the crust is on the bottom.

8. Cut, serve, and enjoy!

A third-generation baker, John Barricelli graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY and has worked at numerous restaurants including the Elms Inn (Ridgefield), River Cafe, Le Bernardin, and the Four Seasons Restaurant. He worked at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, becoming a featured chef on Everyday Food, and in 2008 he became the host of the spin-off, Everyday Baking. John is the owner of The SoNo Baking Company & Cafe in South Norwalk, Westport and Darien. This recipe is from his cookbook, The SoNo Baking Company Cookbook.


Follow FCBuzz HamletHub