It is that time of year when u-pick pumpkin patches open for business. In October pumpkins are everywhere, in your grocery store, at roadside stands, piled up at farmer’s markets and in pumpkin patches. It’s pumpkin harvest season! Gather up the family and head out for some fall fun at your local pumpkin patch.
Carving Pumpkins vs. Cooking Pumpkins
Generally speaking there are two types of pumpkins, cooking and carving. For those of you on the hunt for the perfect orange globe for carving, head out to a local pumpkin patch. The best pumpkins for decorating are less fleshy and easier to cut. The Jack O’ Lantern pumpkin will have a thinner shell, fewer guts inside, stringier flesh and contain more water than pie baking pumpkins. I like to pick pumpkins of various sizes to make the best Fall Halloween display. Visit U-Pick Farm Locator to find u-pick pumpkin farms near you.
Not all pumpkins grow up to be Jack O’ Lanterns, some are baked into pies and other pumpkin treats. The pie pumpkin or sugar pumpkin is small, round and packed full of flesh. The pulp is less grainy and much sweeter than a carving pumpkin. Baking pumpkins are commonly found in the produce section of a grocery store or at a farm stand. Keep in mind that there will be some prep work to use a fresh pumpkin in a pie. You will need to slice it, bake it and puree the pulp to a smooth texture before you start your pumpkin pie recipe. Click on over to Elana’s Pantry for complete instructions on how to roast a pumpkin.
Pumpkin Pie Recipe “like mom used to make”
I made two pumpkin pies for my church’s Harvest Supper. I admit that I did not start with a cooking pumpkin although I am determined to try this in the future. I took a short cut and used Libby’s 100% Pure Canned Pumpkin. To prepare for my pumpkin pies I went to my reliable red plaid Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook which includes a basic pumpkin pie recipe. This must be the same recipe my mom used to make. I did cheat a little and used frozen Pillsbury Pie Crusts. It has been awhile since I made a pumpkin pie and I had forgotten how easy it is (especially if you use canned pumpkin and pre-made crust). I recommend this recipe for your next Fall Celebration.