Each year, my husband freezes the pumpkin from our Halloween jack-o-lanterns to use in his Thanksgiving pumpkin pies. We like that the pumpkin doesn’t go to waste, and using the saved pumpkin provides a nice reminder of Halloween fun during Thanksgiving dinner. One more thing for which to be thankful!
To save the pumpkin, first cut an opening in the top of the pumpkin as usual. Scrape out the stringy pulp and discard, and save the seeds for toasting. Then cut and scoop the inner wall of the pumpkin as far as you want (leave walls thick enough to maintain the structural integrity of the jack-o-lantern, of course!). This step can require a bit of arm strength. After the pumpkin has been harvested, soften it by covering and baking (375 F for about an hour) or microwave for several minutes until soft. Puree the softened pumpkin in a food procedure, divide the pureed pumpkin into pie-sized amounts (we make 3 cup portions) and freeze until needed.
The pumpkin pies from our Halloween pumpkins taste less sweet than a typical pumpkin pie but have a more pure pumpkin flavor that we love. Halloween pumpkin pies always spark a fun conversation around
the Thanksgiving table!