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Nov 19, 2012 05:49 AM

Fresh (packaged) pumpkin pie filling instead of canned?

In the past month I read in either the Globe or the NYT about a company selling fresh pumpkin pie filling that was a great substitute for canned. I searched on both sites but couldn't find the article. Anyone remember the name of the product and where it was sold? (I know I can also cook down sugar pumpkins for pie filling, but for various reasons, this is not the year for that technique.) Thanks for your help!!!

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  1. I don't see any reason whatsoever to consider this more "fresh" than something that comes from a can, but my guess is that you're thinking of Pacific's puree:

    3 Replies
    1. re: FinnFPM

      I buy canned pumpkin regularly (for my dog). One day when they were out of the cans, I bought the Pacific brand. It was awful. It smelled strongly of winter squash but not a pumpkin was strange. The stuff was perfectly fine and the dog was OK with it but man, was that oddly pungent. Also, it seemed thinner/runnier than regular canned pumpkin.

      Maybe I just got a bad batch, I don't know. However, you may want to proceed with caution.

      1. re: FinnFPM

        Agreed, it not at all "fresher". Its processed much the same way canned pumpkin is but the new ones on the market are "organic" and come in boxes as opposed to cans.

        So if you don't like canned due to taste or BPA fears and you don't want to roast your own the new products are fine, however you will pay a premium, at least around here.

        My grocer has tradtional canned pumkin for .99, usually on sale for .79-.89. They have organic canned pumpkin in BPA free cans for $1.99, rarely on sale but when it is it sells for $1.49-$1.69 and the boxed organic for $2.99 and I have yet to see it on sale.

        1. re: FinnFPM

          Thanks for the link. Now I get why I couldn't find it when I searched the Globe. The word "pie" does not appear once!

        2. Even better than any of the above, buy either a Kabocha, buttercup, or Hubbard, chunk it, microwave for 15 minutes, FAR, FAR bettter than any canned pumpkin.

          8 Replies
          1. re: StriperGuy

            Melissa Clark over at NYT compared a bunch of squashes and liked butternut the best:

            As someone who *loves* the three squashes you listed and likes the sound of a "vegetal," not-too-sweet pie that sucks up lots of custard, I'm all in for a kabocha/buttercup pie.

            OP, put it on your list for next year.

            1. re: emannths

              That's funny that she likes butternut cause I find it bland to the point of insipidness and never eat it. Kabocha for the win.

              1. re: StriperGuy

                Agreed - butternut is my least favorite of the winter squashes. But then again, except for pumpkin pie, most of my applications are savory.

                I was interested that she favored acorn squash as well - I usually find it a bit of a PITA, because of the ridges, and roasting it is kind of an issue because of the small size - too much of it gets that tough "skin" on the exposed flesh. But if I cut it up and nuked it instead, per your suggestion...that could work.

                1. re: Allstonian

                  Last year I made a pumpkin pie with Hubbard squash and it was the single best pumkin-pie-like confection I've ever eaten.

                  1. re: StriperGuy

                    How are you butternut-is-boring folks cooking these? Are you getting these half-off at Haymarket or what? We are squash fanatics and eat a ton of butternut. 90% of the time we roast it in olive oil. It's freakin' delicious. I can't believe there are people who find it boring. We also half and roast our acorns, skin-on. Maybe you guys aren't using sufficient fats or something, or are at too high a temperature, but I never find that roasting dries the squash out or makes it boring. It caramelizes them and makes them delicious.

                    I prefer kabocha for soups. We have a big holiday cornucopia of squashes, for decorative purposes, on our front steps. I look forward to cooking them when it's time for the Christmas decorations to come out.

                    1. re: FinnFPM

                      My main winter-squash recipes are either risotto or Afghani kaddo ( In either of those applications, butternut is noticeably bland, and acorn is a pain to peel when raw.

                      1. re: Allstonian

                        I eat the skins. If you are averse to eating acorn squash skins for some reason, they are a nightmare to peel for sure.

                      2. re: FinnFPM

                        I roast them. I have never found butternut to be anything other than bland compared to kabocha, buttercup, delicata, and hubbard. Can't imagine every eating butternut when there are so many other options. To me butternut and acorn are the wonderbread (may it rest in peace) of the squash world.

            2. I've been buying the "Farmer's Market" brand of organic pumpkin puree at Whole Foods this year, and I think it's quite good for what it is - this is NOT fresh though - I use this in smoothies, oatmeal, etc. and buy this stuff in the TetraPak to avoid BPA in the canned versions . . . I, like you, don't have patience or time to cook up my own for these purposes - I'm looking for a fast fix.


              1 Reply
              1. re: gansu girl

                After all the comments, I'm tempted to try kabocha for pie because I love it roasted. But not this year. Might just have to go with the in-law tradition of a homely can of One Pie. Though maybe I could at least sneak in the Whole Foods non-BPA version if certain folks weren't looking over my shoulder during the baking process. . . .