Can this pumpkin be saved?
December 3, 2010 8:59 PM   Subscribe

I bought a pumpkin a couple weeks before Halloween, and never did anything with it. Is it too late?

It's been sitting on the dining table, which gets sun during the day. It seems ok, still firm. Can I still eat it? and if so, please feel free to share your yummiest pumpkin recipes!
posted by hollyanderbody to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Yes, you can eat it. You'll know once you cut it open if it is rotten, but that is pretty unlikely. A pumpkin is a type of winter squash and winter squash are excellent for keeping over the winter (hence the name). We have enough in our basement right now to last until spring.

I am partial to curried pumpkin soup.
posted by ssg at 9:08 PM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

In my experience pumpkins don't last too long. Last year Ibought a pumpkin 2 weeks before Halloween, by Halloween it was falling apart - which I didn't realize until I started cutting into it. But then I realized pretty quickly, because it was gross. If it's bad, it will tell you so when you cut it open.
posted by amethysts at 9:19 PM on December 3, 2010

If it's still firm, you're probably good. If it looks at all rotting anywhere, throw the whole thing out.

You can turn it into pumpkin pie just by cutting it into big chunks, cutting the skin off, steaming it a while, and then mushing it up -- and then letting it sit in a sieve lined with cheesecloth for about a half hour to an hour. Then it'll probably be the same consistency as the canned pureed pumpkin, and then you can use it in place of canned pumpkin in most recipes. (You'll have to add whatever spices you like, though.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:20 PM on December 3, 2010

Cut a cap, scoop out the seeds. Layer chunks of day old bread, blue cheese, walnuts, crumbled bacon, garlic, salt, pepper, nutmeg inside until it's full. Pour a little bit of whole milk or cream over it. Put the cap back on. Roast an hour or more at 350. It's done when you poke it with a sharp knife and the knife goes in without resistance. Cut it and eat it, skin and all.
posted by crush-onastick at 9:21 PM on December 3, 2010 [8 favorites]

Hard squash last forever, but jack-o-lantern pumpkins are inedible, so I hope it's a pie pumpkin.
posted by serazin at 9:36 PM on December 3, 2010 [2 favorites]

Pumpkins (and other squash) are liable to rot faster if they get bruised or banged around.

Slice, seed and wrap in tinfoil, bake at 350 F until squish inside (about one hour) and scoop out the flesh if you don't want to mess around with cheese cloth. Instant pumpkin mush, the first ingredient to pie!
posted by Phalene at 10:47 PM on December 3, 2010

I say go for it. Cut open your pumpkin - you'll be able to tell if it's rotting. I got my pumpkins in mid-October, made my first batch of puree a week before Thanksgiving, and I still have a few more pumpkins to go that look just fine. If it looks okay, by all means cook something with it.

jack-o-lantern pumpkins are inedible

They're certainly edible. However, they are stringier, less sweet, and less fleshy than pie pumpkins; they are bred for size and shape, not flavor. Cook with them accordingly. I found myself in possession of ~10 jack-o-lantern pumpkins this year, which I have since made into a nice stockpile of pumpkin puree. (My philosophy is, work with what you've got...)

Cutting up the big pumpkins into steam-able pieces was more knifework than I was willing to do, so I cut all the pumpkins into quarters and baked them until soft. Then I scooped out the flesh and gave it a nice long blend in the food processor, and then let the puree drain in a fine mesh strainer for an hour or so. Because these are jack-o-lantern pumpkins, this is likely still stringier than pie pumpkin puree. My solutions to this are to: (a) run my pumpkin pie filling through a fine mesh strainer, and/or (b) not care about it if I use the puree in something like soup. I was perfectly happy with the pumpkin pies I made with these pumpkins.
posted by pemberkins at 6:23 AM on December 4, 2010

If it's bad, you'll know pretty quickly, but it's probably fine. Cut it up, roast it off, and puree the results. Now you're ready to make pumpkin soup, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin pie, or (my personal suggestion) pumpkin whoopie pies.
posted by Gilbert at 6:58 AM on December 4, 2010

I turned my jack-o-lantern pumpkin (which I never got around to carving) into a pumpkin pie. This recipe is specifically written with tips for using a Halloween pumpkin:

The trick is to let the cooked puree sit overnight for the water to separate, and you can then pour it off. The texture of the final pie was still a little grainy, and the colour wasn't the bright orange of the canned stuff, but it tasted great.
posted by web-goddess at 3:16 PM on December 5, 2010

Hard squash last forever, but jack-o-lantern pumpkins are inedible, so I hope it's a pie pumpkin.

Nonsense. Have some of my delicious curry pumpkin soup, while I finish making my ravioli di zucca with leftover, uncut Halloween pumpkins.
posted by IAmBroom at 6:28 PM on December 5, 2010

I support everyone's use of jack o lantern pumpkins for food, but I personally find them gross. However, I suppose if you add enough curry or whatever it's probably fine!
posted by serazin at 8:18 PM on December 5, 2010

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