Is it OK to eat your jack-o-lantern after Halloween? Well, that depends on where it’s been and for how long. You can make a pie from your Halloween pumpkin, provided it’s in good condition. What does that mean, exactly? What are the factors involved in deciding whether or not your jack-o-lantern has passed it’s expiration date?
Did you carve it?
Naturally, cutting into your Halloween pumpkin in any way accelerates the expiration date. If you want to make a pie from your Halloween pumpkin, you may wish to decorate it, rather than carve it. That’s the best way to insure freshness. Uncut pumpkins make awesome Halloween yard decor just as they are. Pile them up, line them up or put a mask on them for an edible afterwords solution.
What if you really want a jack-o-lantern?
You only have one pumpkin. You want a lighted jack-o-lantern, but you’d like to make a pie too. Wait to carve your pumpkin until just before you display it on Halloween. Use an electric tea-light so no wax drips inside your future pumpkin pie. Once the celebration is over, pop the pumpkin in the fridge or cook it right away.
Did you buy a pie pumpkin?
There is a great difference in taste between a pie pumpkin and a pumpkin grown for carving. You can carve an eating pumpkin, but you can’t always eat a carving pumpkin. Some are dry and stringy. If you plan to eat your jack-o-lantern after Halloween, make sure it’s the right variety.
How do I make pie from my Halloween pumpkin?
Pumpkin pie is made from the inner flesh of the pumpkin squash. The easiest way to cook your pumpkin is to remove the seeds and “guts” from the pumpkin leaving the flesh and outer shell. Cut into large pieces and bake at 350 degrees until soft enough to separate the flesh from the shell. Mash the flesh. Use it as you would canned pumpkin in any pumpkin recipe. Discard the shell or add it to your compost pile.
- Put an inch of water in the pan when baking pumpkin to avoid scorching and retain moisture.
- Never eat a pumpkin that’s been carved and exposed for longer than two hours.
- Don’t forget to save the seeds. They make excellent roasted, salted treats.
- Pumpkin seeds can also be re-planted next year.
- Obviously, don’t spray your pumpkin with paint or preservative if you wish to eat it later.
Portions of this article were also published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.