How to Choose the Best Pumpkin for Pie

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October 21, 2015

Pumpkin pie is one of my all time favorite fall desserts and knowing how to choose the best pumpkin for pumpkin pie has a lot to do with the taste. Sure, you can drive to the grocery store and grab a can or two of pumpkin pie filling but that’s no fun at all, and the taste is not as good as homemade.

So how do you choose the best pumpkin for pie? 

Many people use their Halloween pumpkin for pumpkin pie, but that is probably not the best choice for taste. Pumpkins for carving are typically grown for their fibrous flesh because they stand up best to being carved. That same fibrous flesh doesn’t bode well for a smooth and creamy pie.

When you’re looking for the best pumpkin for pie, I highly recommend the Sugar Pie variety. Sugar Pie pumpkins are smaller pumpkins that can typically be held comfortably in two hands. Compared to a pumpkin intended for carving, the skin of a Sugar Pie pumpkin is very thin. This makes it easier for you to cut the skin away when preparing your pumpkin for pie.  The flesh of a Sugar Pie pumpkin is slightly sweeter than that of a carving pumpkin like the Jack O Lantern variety. This extra sweetness means that you will need to add less sugar to your pie when baking. This is a definite plus for those watching their sugar content.

Another reason to buy a Sugar Pie pumpkin is that the flesh is thinner grained. Unlike a carving pumpkin with fibrous flesh, the thinner grained flesh will bake up into a smooth, creamy pumpkin pie. If you’ve wondered why your pumpkin pie isn’t as firm when you cut it as some, that may be because you’re using the wrong pumpkin. Carving pumpkins have a higher water content that makes them last longer for display. A Sugar Pie pumpkin is dryer which means that the pie will be more stable and firm when you slice it.

No matter what type of pumpkin you choose to use for your pie, I recommend that you head to the farm to choose your own. Take the kids and let them help you choose a pumpkin or two for your decorating and baking needs. Then make a few mugs of hot chocolate and enjoy the day together.

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