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Which pumpkin for pie?

If I get really ambitious and have time, I would like to make a traditional pumpkin pie and maybe even make it from scratch. If I can't find sugar pumpkins, what else can I use?
Anyone have a good filling recipe? All the ones I am looking at are dazzled with extra this and that. I want one for old fashioned, simple pumpkin pie.

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  1. most canned pumpkin pie filling is actually a hybrid squash. most pumpkins are not that great for pie.

    1. At the end of the day, Libby's pumpkin is the best IMO. I've tried fresh pumpkins, organic canned pumpkin, etc. and you just can't beat Libby's. I make the recipe on the back of the can and double the spices.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Janet from Richmond

        Ditto ...
        The only suggestion I'll make about the filling is, whatever recipe you decide to use, try a shot of cognac as part of the liquid. Great results

      2. oh gosh! it is so much work. last year i used a sugar pumpkin from whole foods (it didn't taste very sweet/deeply flavorful but the sugar and cream in the pie makes up for it)

        push through a fine mesh
        so tired....

        then i have to roll crust, make custard and bake!! guah... although the filling is velvety and creamy; everything you dream a pumpkin pie would be....

        i've haven't tried libby's but maybe i should save myself some work??

        1. I've never made a pumpkin pie with fresh sugar pumpkin but based on the MANY things I've read saying that the results aren't that great, if I were determined to do this I would use a butternut squash, which has lots of flavor when baked/roasted.

          1. Butternut Squash all the way!

            In fact I interviewed a pumpkin farmer a couple years ago for a story, and he needed to supply 15-20% Butternut squash with his pumpkins to the canning factory.
            Apparently any more than that and they couldn't call it pumpkin on the can (here in Canada)... any less and people complained it didn't taste "pumpkin-y' enough.


            1. Store bought it is then. Just saved me a bundle of time!

              1. I'd love to hear input from anyone who has done a side-by-side tasting of pies made with the same recipe, except one with canned pumpkin and one with canned squash. I've never had the opportunity - I don't often see squash pie but when I do the color is less orange than pumpkin pie. That might be different amounts/types of spice.

                2 Replies
                  1. re: greygarious

                    I didn't do it side-by-side but one year I went through the sugar pumpkin, from scratch routine, and the next year I used tinned pumpkin. I seriously questioned why I had bothered with the fresh pumpkin. Haven't bothered with it since.

                    My mother swore by Libby's but I didn't realize till I read another thread, along with this one, that it's pure pumpkin. Hotoynoodle however, says not so . . . so now I'm confused. But I'll stick to the Libby's puree b/c I've encountered a few purists who claim they can taste difference yet haven't with my Libby's offerings.

                  2. Not to scare you but...

                    Seems there is a shortage of canned pumpkin?


                    2 Replies
                    1. re: legourmettv

                      augh! oh no! must-stock-up-for-christmas!

                      sounds goofy to be so concerned about pumpkin puree... rampage of the pumpkin enamored foodies..... ;)

                      1. re: legourmettv

                        This has been reported quite a bit lately - the latest is that the new crop is beginning to appear on shelves, so the "crisis" has passed. However, it may be worth stocking up for next year, since the shortage this fall was because of poor growing conditions in 2008 which meant not enough to carry over until the 2009 crop (which, as we know, is low-yield).


                      2. I've always used Libby but was considering using fresh this year. The Amish here use neck pumpkins. The recipe on the label of Libby's or King Arthur Flour's pumpkin pie recipe are the two I use that my family likes. Then again, I don't care for pumpkin pie but prefer it in muffins.