What to Do With That Halloween Jack-O-Lantern?

by | Nov 1, 2022 | Holidays, November 2022, Recipes

I suppose you could leave it moldering on your porch or leave it out for critters. Here are a couple ideas for you and your family.

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

  • Clean seeds- place a colander or strainer in a bowl filled with water. The seeds float – makes separating them from any pumpkin flesh or stringy stuff easer.  Scoop the seeds from pumpkin and transfer to the colander.
  • Separate the seeds and pat dry with paper towels or clean cloth. Any remaining pumpkin flesh can be removed by vigorously rubbing them dry with a clean towel.
  • Baking – preheat oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss pumpkin seeds with olive oil (2 teaspoons for a medium pumpkin’s seeds) and sea salt (about 1 teaspoon).
  • Spread pumpkin seeds in a single layer. Bake for 15-30 minutes or until the seeds are deeply golden.
  • Allow to cool – enjoy as is or perhaps add and toss with your favorite seasonings: salty, spicey, or sweet….salts, peppers,  garlic, curry, cayenne,  lemon zest, brown sugar.

Source: www.101cookbooks.com/toasted-pupmpkin-seeds

Homemade Pumpkin Pie

It takes a little extra effort, but well worth it.

  • Peel and cut the pumpkin “meat” into cubes.
  • Place in a large pot with a couple inches of water and cook over a medium heat until pumpkin is soft.
  • Drain water and either puree pumpkin in blender or just mash with a potato masher.


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 cups homemade pumpkin purée
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream or 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 2 frozen premade pie shells


  1. Prepare the crusts. Unwrap frozen crust just before using You will need 2.
  2. Preheat your oven to 425°F. Position a rack in the bottom 1/3 of the oven.
  1. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Mix in the brown sugar, white sugar, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, ground cloves, cardamom, and lemon zest.
  2. Mix in the pumpkin purée. Stir in the cream. Beat together until everything is well mixed. The mixture will be runny but will set up in the oven.
  3. Pour the filling into 2 premade frozen pie shells. Bake in the oven at a high temperature of 425°F for 15 minutes.
  4. After 15 minutes, lower the temperature to 350°F. The pie is done when a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out wet but relatively clean. The center should be just barely jiggly. For 1 deep-dish pie, this will take 50 to 60 minutes. For 2 shallow pies, bake for 35 to 45 minutes more. Keep an eye on it. The tooth pick will tell you when it’s done.

Note that the pumpkin pie will come out of the oven all puffed up (from the leavening of the eggs), and will deflate as it cools.

Pro Tip: About halfway through baking, line crust edges with foil to avoid burning.

Cool on a rack for a couple of hours and serve with whipped cream or ice cream. Note: Pie will keep refrigerated for 3-4 days.

Better than store bought! Make several and you can freeze and serve on Thanksgiving!

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