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Nov 2, 2011 12:53 PM

Cooking a whole pumpkin?

Please pardon my ignorance on this - but: what do I do with a whole pumpkin?!

I bought a couple pumpkins, with the intent to carve them, but I never got around to it. They've sat on my doorstep for approx 2 weeks in a fair amount of sunlight and average 70 degree temps and have gotten considerably lighter (dried out, perhaps?)

Is there anything I can do with them (other than roast the seeds)? Can I cut it up and bake the flesh?

Or have I missed the window for doing anything with them and should just throw them out?

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  1. What type of pumpkin? I don't know whether the kind of pumpkins normally sold for jack-o-lanterns make good eats. I've cooked sugar pumpkins AKA pie pumpkins before though.

    First thing - see if they're still good. Uncut pumpkins don't seem to spoil super quickly, but they aren't winter squashes that can sit around for months before using either. Cut em in half or else cut the tops off. See or smell anything disturbing inside? If yes, chuck em. If no, you're probably fine. You can then wrap the pumpkins entirely in foil. Then either roast em in a 200 degree oven overnight (~8-10 hours). Or roast em in a 350 degree oven for maybe an hour, hour and a half. Once done, you can scoop the flesh out of the inside and use that for baking like you would use canned pumpkin puree. If it's too moist, you may need to *gently* cook it down on the stove top before using.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cowboyardee

      Thank you so much! I have no idea what kind of pumpkin it is. I don't recall seeing anything other thank 'pumpkin' on the sign. I know for sure it's not a sugar pumpkin or a pie pumpkin, though. Not sure what other kind of pumpkin that leaves... :)

    2. If it was sold as "pumpkin" it is likely a jack o' lantern pumpkin and not worth eating. Belive me I have tried...They are grown for easy carving and to be big. They generally thin walled and have a lot of watery stringy "meat"

      They make good compost.

      1 Reply
      1. Not a food idea but pumpkin pulp is nurturing to the skin if you're interested in a homemade skin mask or body scrub.

        1. Do not eat carving pumpkins.

          1. My mom used to split them in half longways, take out the seeds and roast them in the oven face down on a cookie sheet. Not sure what kind they were, but were bigger than what I've seen sold around here as pie pumpkins. Made a tasty pie, though. If they don't look/smell spoiled, you could give it a try, see how they turn out and always pitch it if it's no good. Or feed the squirrels.