Instructables

Juicing a Jack-O-Lantern

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Picture of Juicing a Jack-O-Lantern
This Instructable will teach you how to make pure pumpkin juice from an otherwise discarded part of your Halloween pumpkin -- its guts.    This juice can be sweetened for drinking, added to other juices, or used as a flavorful liquid in many recipes for your own haunted house.  I use it to make Pumpkin Liqueur

Why would I do this?  Pumpkin inspiration hit me while we were preparing pumpkins for carving.  I noticed how moist the guts were and thought they seemed perfect for juicing.  I was surprised by how flavorful the "gut juice" really was and excited to make use of this otherwise discarded pumpkin element.  Why throw away the pumpkin innards when It's eco-friendly, nutritious, and tasty to use them!

(Note that you can also make juice from the pumpkin flesh in a similar manner by substituting diced pumpkin flesh, with rind removed, for the guts.  The heating time in Step 2 might be longer, as your aim is to thoroughly cook the pumpkin flesh to maximize the resultant juice.)
 
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Step 1: Supplies

You need:
A pumpkin or pumpkins, with the lid removed
large microwave-safe bowl
food processor or blender
wire mesh strainer
cheesecloth

Step 2: Preparing the Guts

Remove the guts from a pumpkin or many pumpkins.  Take out as many seeds as possible.  You can leave them in if you like.  It will give a nutty flavor to your juice and that may be something that you prefer.

Place your pumpkin guts in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat covered for 3-6 minutes depending on how much material you are heating. This is simply to loosen them up and release more juice so there is no exact amount of time.

Step 4: Strain

Picture of Strain
Pour the blended pumpkin into a cheesecloth-lined mesh strainer placed over a large bowl.  Allow to drain.  Once a good amount of liquid has drained and the mixture is cool enough to handle, you can draw up the edges and corners of the cloth and squeeze or ring it out to extract more juice if you'd like.

Step 5: Consume

Picture of Consume
The resultant juice is ready to be put to use!  For further food safety, you can heat this juice to boiling before using.  It can also be cooked down to condense the flavor.

I recommend mixing the pumpkin juice with apple juice to create a flavorful pumpkin juice.  This can be spiced with cinnamon or mulling spices if you'd like.  However, there are many ways to use your pumpkin juice.
KitKam3 years ago
Awesome! Can't wait for the -ble on the pumpkin liqueur! Might be fun to make it "fizzy pumpkin juice" also. :D
PUMPKIN JUICE!!!! Whoa I thought it only existed at Hogwarts....i wants sum!!
I think the house elves must make this from Hagrid's giant pumpkins.
maybe....i wanna meet Dobby! he reminds me of Gollum from lord of the rings-he's short, and wears a leotard rag thing.
Not sure you'd want to meet Gollum. He was specifically known to eat small goblins, and small children of humans and elves.

I think you're probably safe with Dobby, though. Just be aware that, while Slytherins can get away with repeated attempted murder of the headmaster, and finally murder in the first degree of the headmaster... levitating a cake at home will get a Gryffindor expelled.

If you don't believe me about the murder in the first degree bit, ask any criminal trial lawyer familiar with the story what Draco would have been charged with.
KitKam hanzie3 years ago
Ha, Love this! :D
sunshiine3 years ago
I would have thought that they would be bitter! Thanks for sharing!
Batness3 years ago
I've done so many things with pumpkin bits, but why have I never thought to JUICE them. Oh man, project for when I decide to rid myself of this pumpkin! I know "jack-o-lantern" pumpkins aren't the tastiest...what kind do you recommend? I usually use cheesewheels or Queensland Blues for cooking.
starshipminivan (author)  Batness3 years ago
I find that it's difficult to find a lot of variety in pumpkins these days. Even at our farmer's market and harvest festivals around here, it's just jack-o-lantern pumpkins and "pie" pumpkins. Heirloom pumpkins would make fantastic juice because they are grown for flavor not for how easy they are to mass process or carve. I don't have any specific recommendations but if you like to eat it, it would probably make a great juice.
Awesome! Do you have to use the stringy guts or can I use flesh as well?
starshipminivan (author)  Batness3 years ago
You can use the flesh too but you'll want to cook it well first to soften it up.
SageMinto3 years ago
Mmmm! The Pumpkin juice at Hogwarts has always interested me. Now i can make some myself! So excited!! :D
About how much does this yield? I.e. how many/how big of pumpkins do i need for pumpkin liqueur? ;)
starshipminivan (author)  LilithAvalon4 years ago
I'm going to have to say it really just depends on the pumpkins.  For me, each medium jack-o-lantern pumpkin yielded about 1 1/2 cups juice from the innards. Remember, that kind of pumpkin isn't particularly flavorful. 

In the pumpkin liqueur recipe, this jack-o-lantern juice is reduced by half to give it more flavor.  So the quality of the pumpkin could affect how much juice you'll need.  If you are using a pie pumpkin, you could probably get away with less initial juice because it would be more flavorful. Perhaps you could use 2 cups straight juice or reduce 3 cups juice to 2 for a similar concentration of flavor.

To gain additional juice, you can cook cut pieces of pumpkin flesh (covered so they retain moisture), puree them, and strain out juice to add to what you get from the innards.  You can also supplement with some butternut squash juice extracted in the same way.

So, depending on how you extract your juice, it could take anywhere from one medium to large, pie pumpkin to 3 medium jack-o-lantern pumpkins.
Sorry, but I think I'm gonna have to pass on this one...
This recipe is vital in the creation of Pumpkin Liqueur, (to be posted as soon as it has aged-up enough), which is pure Autumnal Bliss. Sorry you'll have to miss out on that.
Pumpkin Ligueur??? Now that's a different thing altogether. Nobody told me there'd be pumpkin liqueur. I'll have a big cup, thanks!