Cooking With Jack-o'-lantern Type Pumpkins

I was given three BIG pumpkins (aka jack-o'-lanterns) that were on sale after Halloween. I would really like to use them to make pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving but have been told that they are NOT the right type. There has to be a way to use them, maybe not as pies but as other food type things. I am really trying NOT to waste food at all, as we have gone hungry in the past.

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November 14, 20080 found this helpful

I've used jack-o-lantern pumpkins for cooking... as far as I know, the only difference is that they don't have as much flavor as pie pumpkins.

You could make pumpkin butter... bake or steam hunks of the pumpkin until they're soft, then puree in a blender. Put it in a crock pot with cinnamon and whatever other spices you like, and cook it with the cover off until it's reduced by about half.

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November 14, 20080 found this helpful

I have also cooked many times with your type of pumpkins. I cut the pumpkin up, scraped out the innards, and steamed the pieces until they were soft. I scraped the cooked "meat" from the skins, pureed it in a blender (or you could run it through a food mill), and froze it in one-cup or two-cup quantities, as this is what most recipes seem to use.

I did notice it would be a bit watery when I thawed it, so I just plopped the thawed pumpkin into a sieve to drain before I used it. It was excellent in everything I used it for!

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November 14, 20080 found this helpful

I have used these kinds pumpkins for pie, bars, cookies, anything that you need pumpkin for and it didn't seem to matter that they weren't the "right type" of pumpkin.

I just cut the pumpkin in quarters and scoop the seeds and pulp out. Place in pan with water so it doesn't burn and cook in the oven on 300 degrees for an hour or so. When soft peel the skin off and chop with chopper or blend in blender and freezer in containers (the amount you would need in a recipe).

Even though it is watery when it thaws I use the whole amount and don't bother draining it.

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November 17, 20080 found this helpful

You can use these for pies, or muffins or anything else that you would like to make with them. Sometimes they are even better flavor than Pie pumpkins. It just depends on the year and the type of pumpkin. There are many different kinds.

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November 17, 20080 found this helpful

I've used my pumpkin as a slow cooker. I cut out the top as you would for a jack o lantern and scooped out the inside seeds etc. I then added all of the ingredients for a chicken stew with only a little tiny bit of broth. I then cooked it in a 350 oven for about five hours. I served the stew along with some of the cooked flesh right from the pumpkin at the table. It was very tasty but also had the added benefit of using and eating the pumpkin. It is important to only add a tiny bit of liquid because the pumpkin adds a lot as it cooks.

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November 18, 20080 found this helpful

Thank you all so much I will be doing this next week so I really appreciate your advise. Dahart in CO

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November 18, 20080 found this helpful

This year we were given 13 (jack o-lantern) type of pumpkins, I too didn't want to waste them. We removed all the seeds -which we cleaned, boiled in a light salt water, drained and then baked until crisp for snacks. Then peeled and chunked into pieces with a little bit of water and steamed away, I used a 18qt nesco cooker and did this in batches over 2 days. We then pureed the pulp and froze 32 quarts of pumpkin in food saver bags. They lay nice & flat. We then took the last 10 qts of pumpkin puree and cooked over night with cloves, allspice and cinnamon for the best pumpkin butter ever! Which some we have refig and rest froze in mason jars. Now ready to use whenever I need it. No more store bought for us. We also composted the scraps that were left. No wasting here. We are making pumpkin roll and pumpkin pie for the holiday. Enjoy!

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November 18, 20080 found this helpful

This was on a feedback a few weeks ago. I had a very good experience by washing the whole pumpkins (2 volleyball sized ones) and cutting multiple x's with a knife at the top, and, placing them in a cookie sheet and baking them for about 2 hrs at 300 degrees. I let them cool, then easily (like butter) cut out huge chunks, easily removed the stringy stuff and seeds (no goop) and cut the rind off as I would a cantaloupe.

I put cooked chunks in a colander over a large bowl to drain (very wet). Lots and lots of pumpkin! I dragged out my food processor and grated it all. We made the best pumpkin bread ever (1 3/4 cup = 15 oz canned pumpkin) and pumpkin butter. It was so easy I bought 2 more similarly sized, to make more. I know what everyone is getting for Xmas this year! We still froze bunches of the puree in freezer bags for the rest of the year, too.

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November 18, 20080 found this helpful

I have always used my "Jack" as my pie source for the past 20 years. I steam it until soft; then place inside a cheesecloth "pocket". Twist and squeeze out the excess water. If it seems less than tasty I just up the amount of spices used by 1/4 or 1/3. Family loves it when I use extra pie crust to cut out a jack-o-lantern shape for the presentation. Enjoy.

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