Fall food hacks: pumpkin spice milkshakes, apple pie baked apples & pumpkin pasta

Justin Chapple, the test kitchen pro behind Food & Wine's Mad Genius Tips, shares fall-themed food hacks for pumpkin spice milkshakes, pumpkin pasta sauce and apple pie baked apples.

Nathan R. Congleton / TODAY

Hack #1: Whip up a pumpkin spice milkshake at home

It's not quite fall weather yet, so maybe you want a more refreshing pumpkin spice treat.

Here's how: In a blender, add vanilla ice cream, canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, whole milk and sugar. Blitz until combines and enjoy!

Nathan R. Congleton / TODAY

Hack #2: Turn store-bought butternut squash into a creamy pumpkin sauce for pasta

If you love mac n' cheese, you'll love this creamy pasta hack.

Here's how: Saute 1 finely chopped red onion, 2 minced garlic cloves and 2 teaspoons minced sage in 2 tablespoons of butter. Add 1½ cups store-bought butternut squash soup and cook until slightly thickened. Toss with cooked orecchiette pasta. Transfer to bowls and top with chopped toasted hazelnuts, chopped chives and toasted pepitas.

Nathan R. Congleton / TODAY

Hack #3: Turn apples into apple pie baked apples

Who needs a pie plate when you can bake your apple pie filling inside an apple?

Here's how: Just cut the top 1/2-inch off the top of an apple and, using a melon baller, scoop out the insides (discard the core). Chop the scooped apple and toss with cinnamon and sugar, then spoon back into the hollow apple. Press store-bought pie dough on top and brush with egg wash. Using a small knife, cut slits in the top. Bake at 350 F until the crust is browned and the apple is just tender.

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