To dry out pumpkin shells, hollow out as much of the pumpkin as possible, rub the pumpkin inside and out with vegetable oil, and bake. Use the shells as serving bowls for soup, stews, dips or dessert. Throw your dirty bowls into the compost heap when you are done.
- Select the right pumpkin
Choose your pumpkin for size and looks. Avoid any pumpkin with soft or rotten spots. Watch for a pumpkin that sits straight on its bottom so that your shell is usable when it is cut open and dried.
- Hollow out your pumpkin
Cut the top off your pumpkin. How much you cut off depends on how you plan to use the shell. Consider cutting a patterned edge, but remember that drying the pumpkin may cause some degradation of your pattern. Remove all the stringy insides and seeds, then scrape as much of the orange flesh away as possible. Be careful not to cut the outside of the pumpkin.
- Rub your pumpkin shell with vegetable oil
After rinsing your pumpkin inside and out, rub the entire pumpkin with vegetable oil both inside and out. If you plan to eat the flesh, add seasoning. Cinnamon, cloves or nutmeg works well for a sweet food. Savory spices like garlic, onion or pepper are perfect choices for main dishes such as soup.
- Bake your pumpkin
Turn your oiled pumpkin upside down onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Put the pan on the lowest rack of your oven, and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook until the outside is hardened. The time required varies depending on the size of your pumpkin. If desired, turn the heat down lower, and leave the pumpkin in the oven to really dry the outside.
- Serve on your table
Allow to cool for dips or cold desserts. Serve warm food in the shells directly out of the oven.