This is the first year I've grown pumpkins that were specifically labeled "pie pumpkins." Previously, I've planted jack o' lantern pumpkins for decoration and carving and Red Kuri squash to use as . . . well, cooked squash, and also to use in making "pumpkin" pies.
My squash pies, although tasty, have not had a lot of luck masquerading as the traditional Thanksgiving pie in our household.
I made my first pie yesterday from those same pie pumpkins I grew this past season.
The color of my pumpkin puree was lighter than of that purchased under good ol' Mrs. L's brand. Also, I thought my pie mixture seemed lighter and filled the pie shell a smidge bit more than the commercially canned variety. It certainly rose up higher while baking, but then did settle down as it cooled.
So what was the verdict on the flavor? Well, only Papa Pea and I have sampled it so far, but we though it was (drum roll, please) . . . GREAT! (Whadda relief considering how much of the pureed pumpkin I put by!)
I read a report a while back (I can't remember where so I suppose one can't consider it very reliable) that said commercially canned pumpkin actually contains quite a bit of squash. I checked out the label on a can of L's in the grocery store recently and the wrapper reads "100% pumpkin" and the only ingredient listed is "pumpkin." That's it. Nuthin' else.
But aren't pumpkins of the squash family? Is that how they might get around the ingredient listing? Why would squash be used as part of the mix? I wouldn't think squash would be more economical easier to grow or process than actual pumpkins. Hmmmm, now that I think of it, I do remember the article saying certain varieties of squash have less "string" in them and are sweeter flavored than pumpkins.
At any rate, I'm very pleased with the pie pumpkins I grew, processed and have stashed away. Now if I just had a dairy animal from which to get enough cream to whip for all these pumpkin pies I'll be making . . .