Is it possible to cook a Halloween pumpkin (aka jack-o-lantern). The short answer is yes. However pumpkins that we purchase for carving (in America) are not grown to be cooked and don’t taste great in traditional pumpkin recipes like pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pancakes, etc.
“Jack-o-latern” pumpkins are typically large, flat bottomed, filled with less flesh. Their seeds, however, are plentiful and great for roasting.
If you want to use fresh pumpkin in a recipe purchase a “pie pumpkin” from the grocery store. Pie pumpkins are specifically for baking. They are darker in color and are very dense which makes them perfect for baking.
Do not cook a pumpkin that has already been carved and left outside for an evening or two. Leave the large pumpkins for carving and use the smaller pie pumpkins in your baking.
If you love pumpkin I highly recommend cooking a pie pumpkin. Canned pumpkin isn’t pure pumpkin. Did you know it is a mixture of squash and pumpkin. The squashes causes it to be not as sweet as pure pumpkin. Your friends and family will rave about your pumpkin baked goods when you use fresh, super sweet pie pumpkin in the recipe.
Store uncooked pie pumpkins in a cool dry place for several weeks.