Thursday, October 29, 2009

Buyer Beware

They all look the same, lounging in the field. But, they were bred for different purposes, so buyer beware...

Jack O’Lanterns were hybridized to ward off evil spirits and provide a riotous good time when you steal them from the neighbor's porch and smash 'em in the street.

Heirloom Variety Pie Pumpkins are prized for their firm texture and sweet flavor. (Jacks are bland and watery.) The best pie varieties are Small Sugar, Winter Luxury and Rouge Vif d'Etampes.

If you're going to all the trouble* of making a pumpkin pie from scratch, you're obviously a romantic. So, purchase a Rouge Vif d'Etampes. It was the prototype for Cinderella's carriage and is sometimes sold as the Cinderella Pumpkin.

But, that means the time to make your pie just went from 4 hours to 4 months because you might have to grow this pumpkin yourself. I’ve never seen a supermarket sell anything but Small Sugars, though these are quite tasty, too.

Pie Pumpkins are good for more than just pie. Click here for a fabulous Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe with gingersnap cookie and pecan crust!

* Canned pumpkin purée is one of the few items where canned product quality is about equal to fresh - though I've found NO documented cases where a can of pumpkin purée warded off evil spirits with any success.

* Rouge Vif d'Etampes means Deep, Red Pumpkin - which is a little misleading, since it's red/orange. Oh, how the French love to toy with anyone who can't speak the language...
* Buy seeds from Burpee - they invented this pumpkin, back in 1883.


Rosey Pollen said...

I can honestly say I never made a pie from an actual pumpkin. Only canned here. I should venture in the wild and try it. thanks for info. We got about two feet of snow. I like your Halloween look. Very timely.

Granny J said...

Come on, now. I recall passably fine pumpkin pie made by my mother-in-law from the remains of the jack-o-lanterns carved by her grandkids -- check OmegaMom

Kate said...

We may have to have a virtual bake off to get to the bottom of this... :D

Garden Lily said...

That photo is amazing, I blinked at it several times, it looks like a painting. I love it.

I have printed the pumpkin cheesecake recipe. I guess I'm odd, I'd never think to buy canned pumpkin, when one pumpkin can yield enough (okay, it's a messy job) to make SO MANY recipes. I have mine in little containers in the freezer, and it takes me years of baking to use them all up.