You can make pumpkin pie from that pumpkin you cleaned out and carved into a jack-o-lantern. Sure, we know that chefs recommend using what’s called a pie pumpkin or a sweet pumpkin, not the kind used for a jack-o-lantern. But, in fact, people have used the pulp, or meat, from inside a jack-o-lantern and they report it works fine.
Frankly, we haven’t tried it. But if you intrepid adventurers want to attempt it, the first thing to do is to cut off and throw away the parts burnt by the candle or covered with wax. Then put the whole jack-o-lantern (with the lid but minus the stem) on a baking sheet and let it bake at 300 degrees for an hour or more or until the pumpkin begins to collapse. Then let it cool down, scrape the pulp away from the skin and mash it up. Now put the mashed pumpkin pulp in a cheese cloth bag and twist it until you’ve squeezed the water out. Too much work? We agree. Buy a can of mashed up, cooked pumpkin. Ready?
Set your oven to 400 degrees.
1 1/2 cups of mashed cooked pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup of sugar
1 or maybe 1 1/4 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/2 of ginger
1/4 teaspoon of cloves
You can double the amount of ginger and cloves, if you want.
3 slightly beaten eggs
1 1/4 cups of milk
1 6-ounce can of evaporated milk
and your 9-inch unbaked pastry shell.
Thoroughly mix the pumpkin, salt and sugar and those spices, then blend in the eggs and milk, including the evaporated milk. Now pour it all into the pastry shell and bake it at 400 degrees F for 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the pie comes out clean.
The fancy carved pumpkin pictured above was made by Jack Amoroso, an artist living in Florida. The only tools he uses are a sharp knife and a vivid immagination.