I wanted to make a pumpkin pie out of the pumpkin I used for a decoration. I like carved pumpkins, but I dislike the fact that they start to mold just a few days later.
So I decided to display my pumpkin without carving it and then to cook it whole afterwards.
What I found was that a few people have baked a whole pumpkin in the oven, but no one has tried to make pumpkin pie in a whole baked pumpkin. At least... not that I could find.
And like the first of anything, it can (admittedly) use some improvement.
BUT regardless of the taste, this is a great conversation piece, and your friends will run home to make their own version of Inside Out Pumpkin Pie...
I hope that this is the first, but not the last time someone will use this idea. If you do use the idea, please refer back to this instructable. Enjoy the pie!
If you want to check out the video, here it is!
Step 1: Pick Your Pumpkin
I didn't pick this pumpkin. It was a gift from a student, snuck onto my table when I wasn't looking.
My pumpkin was about 10 or 11" in diameter. I didn't weigh it.
You may wish to choose a small individual pumpkin for each person or every 2 people. I suspect they would cook faster. That's a good thing.
Another reason to get smaller pumpkins is that the serving is more fun if the eater participates. More pumpkins, more people serving themselves.
If you get a large pumpkin, make sure it will fit into your oven!
Step 2: Cut Off the Top
Cut the top of the pumpkin off. I would suggest angling the blade in a bit when you do. This will prevent the pumpkin top from falling in.
Step 3: Remove the Seeds and Entrails
Using a spoon (and your hands) remove the seeds and stringy parts from the pumpkin. You want to be sure to get all the seeds and most of the strings (else folks will be eating stringy pumpkin later).
Step 4: Score the Inside of the Pumpkin
Using a paring knife, make cuts on the inside of the pumpkin, being sure not to puncture the pumpkin skin.
This gives a bigger surface area for cooking and absorption of the sugar spice mix.
Step 5: Pick Your Spices
I don't want to give you a spice list that makes you have to run out and buy a bunch of stuff. I think that if you have Cinnamon, it's enough. Vanilla helps. I happened to have Cardamom and Nutmeg also.
The key is to read the bottle, and see if it will go with pumpkin pie (sweet). If it will, put it on the maybe side. Then when you have all your spices together, figure it out. You get the opportunity to play too!
Step 6: I PIcked My Spices
Because this is sort of a recipe, I'll tell you what spices I picked.
1/4 tsp cardamom
three turns of the nutmeg spice grinder
3 tsps cinnamon.
Step 7: Add Liquids to Spice Mix
3 tsps vanilla.
Approx 4 tablespoons milk, more or less to moisten mix.
I used the eye test to determine if the mix was wet enough. You're looking for a molasses-y sort of texture.
Step 8: Dump Mix Into Pumpkin and Spread Around
Put the molasses-y mix into the pumpkin and use the spoon to spread it around. Tilt the pumpkin if you have to do so...
Step 9: Bake in a 400 Degree F Oven
My pumpkin pie took 4 hours end to end.
Don't be scared by this, I made several mis-steps, the major misstep being that I didn't remove some of the liquid after the first hour or so.
Here's my recommendation: Bake for an hour and check. Bake for another 1/2 hour and check again. Most likely your liquid levels will be higher. At that point, remove 1/2 of the liquid from your pumpkin and reserve for some other use.
Step 10: Make Your Pumpkin Pie Filling
I used oatmeal because I was in recovery mode, trying to fix my problem of too much liquid.
1 cup oats
1/2 cup sugar
5 tbsps melted butter
Melt butter in microwave, add dry
ingredients, mix. Stir into liquid in pumpkin.
Step 11: Bake Some More Until the Filling Is Cooked
At some point, I put it on broil and covered with foil to get rid of some of the liquid. Do not do this.
Just keep a steady 400 degree oven, and you'll be fine.
If you've gone beyond 1 1/2 hours, the pumpkin will be fine.
Step 12: Present, Serve, Top and Eat
It's most effective when presented in the whole pumpkin. That's the whole point of all this work. Serving involves scraping up and along the outer shell to get some globs of pumpkin when you get your mix.
It's good, and some bites will be sweet and some will be less sweet. If you prefer a consistent sweetness, mix it together after serving.
Add whipped topping, and eat!
Here's what my family had to say:
"Wow, that looks scary!"
"Um, not bad!"