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I can't cut my pie pumpkins!

  • j

I just bought four "pie pumpkins" -- smaller pumpkins intended for use in cooking (not just display). However, when I attempted to cut them with my nearly brand-new Henckel's chef's knife, I could barely make a scratch on the surface. They are so hard on the outside and, because they are small, it is impossible to get a good grip without placing important body parts right in the way of the knife.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to cut these things? Are they not ripe yet? Should I soak them? Buy a chainsaw?

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  1. Those are defective pumpkins -- are you sure you didn't get gourds by mistake? "Sugar baby" pie pumpkins should be fleshy and pretty easy to cut, not even quite as hard as regular pumpkins.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jeremy Osner

      Did anybody try to put the stupid thing in a vise grip and saw it in half?????

    2. I'd try a small knife and stab the blade in (rather trying to really cut) -- angle down toward the inside bottom of the pumpkin, not across toward your other hand.

      1. Something tells me that a pumpkin that hard on the outside isn't going to be too succulent on the inside--however, having said that, have you tried a cleaver?

        1. If the pumpkins are small enough and your microwave is large enough, you can punch a couple of holes into each pumpkin (so they don't explode) and then zap them briefly, which should soften them up enough to cut. Or I once put a large pumpkin into an even larger pot and steamed it for a while.

          1. My mother-in-law carved a Halloween pumpkin at my place last week when I was away, and neatly snapped the blades off a Chicago Cutlery paring knife, a gorgeous Sabatier boning knife from the '30s, and a horn-handled antique steak knife, one of a matched set of six, that I had counted on to outlast my own mortal coil. The carnage was sort of breathtaking.

            The devil's own fruit, it is.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Pepper

              Your mother-in-law owes you some really good knives. And just to be on the safe side, you should pick up one of those pumpkin-carving kits (maybe you can get one discounted now) to have on hand next year.

              1. re: Katherine

                I actually have a pumpkin-carving kit rattling around a kitchen drawer, but apparently the lure of rare cutlery proved too much in the end.

              2. re: Pepper

                The more I think about Pepper's poignant post the more it seems to make sense to treat a pie pumpkin as I do coconuts: drop 'em on the sidewalk and salvage the pieces. pat