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  • Best pie pumpkin?

    What is the best pumpkin for pies? I've heard of the Amish pie pumpkin and the Winter Luxury? What do you think from experience? I grew the King of Mammoth or Mammoth Chile pumpkin this year and I do not think it makes good pies/breads.

  • #2
    I grew Amish Pie this year and its proved to be an excellent producer and a good pumpkin for pies and breads and such. So far just one pumpkin has made 4 loaves of bread, a pie and a stew and there is still about 1/4 of the pumpkin left.


    • #3
      I've grown Winter Luxury Pie. If it was the only pumpkin around, I wouldn't be upset. Still, I'm sure there are better ones to be had. Sounds like Amish Pie might be one of them.


      • #4
        Summer98, I see that you list yourself as being in USDA z4.

        I dunno how long your growing season is, but you might want to check days-to-maturity.

        Be aware that commercial pumpkin pie flesh is harvested from "neck pumpkins", which are a big moschata type, very much like an elongated butternut. They are quite tasty, but have a long growing season. I tried them once and got exactly one.

        In any case, any fine-fleshed (ie, not stringy), dry, sweet squash will do.

        Last year I made pumpkin pie out of Honeyboat and Sugarloaf squashes, which are Delicata types. Pepos. They are quick growing, but quite sweet. They don't keep as long as moschatas so you need to use them up by about February or so.

        These two vareties are SO SWEET, I only used 1/4 cup of brown sugar, and most of my family thought it was sweet enough, which is something considering that most of them want it sweeter than I do. Their flesh is dry and fine-grained. It is lighter-colored than the flesh of most squashes, so the pie turns out a bit pale, but the flavor is superb.

        The reason I mention them, is that whatever your growing season length is, they are likely to be ripe by the end of the season, unlike many of the bigger squashes.


        • #5
          I prefer the Tahitian Melon Squash. Actually most of the C.mochata's produce the best Pie.


          • #6
            I've never heard of the "neck pumpkins," but I wondered what the commercial pie pumpkins were made of. I only grew one moschata this year and it was the Waltham Butternut. Next year I want to try the Black Futsu for the moschata. What about the c. maxima? I want to try the Big Max for pies too.


            • #7
              I've never heard of the "neck pumpkins,"
              They are the same thing that Zebraman is calling "Tahitian Melon Squash". I think that was a name made up for them by Burgess Seed Company, complete with a picture of an Asian-looking (not Polynesian) lady adorned with a lei holding one.

              There are lots of variations of its name, including "Tahitian Melon Gourd" and "Neck Pumpkin". They're not melons, they're not gourds (although some people use that word for the whole family...), and they're not really Tahitian.

              You'll notice Zebraman is in zone 10 and therefor has no trouble getting them ripe.

              It is an amazing squash, with a huge "meaty" "neck", and the seeds conveniently localized on the fat end of the fruit. They keep without refrigeration for something like at least 9 months. They are fairly sweet, fine-grained, and have a nice aroma.

              They are quite large, like an elongated butternut, often slightly (or quite) curved, and have tan skin. The flesh is orange.


              Tahitian Melon: 110 days. (C. moschata) A sweeter, longer necked version of Butternut. Cooked flesh is excellent to use for "Pumpkin Pie". Pkt. $2.00
              Note that Glenn rates them at 110 days, and I have even seen 130.

              As for maxima types, there are some short-vined Hubbard types that are quick-maturing, but I am not particularly familiar with the maximas, so I hesitate to recommend one. Maybe someone with more experience can chime in. My attempt to grow them this year failed.

              Something you might be interested in lieu of Waltham Butternut is Burpee Butterbush. I grew those this year.


              Note the high ratings. It's a semi-bush type, producing medium to smallish butternut type moschatas. It comes in ahead of Waltham and is surprisingly productive for the size.

              I bought lots of extra packets, and then had a hard time getting my relatives to grow them, except for my mother's cousin's widower. Then, when they saw the fruit, they wanted some of it.


              • #8
                Atash, you are a font of recommendations! Thanks so much for all your leads!


                • #9
                  You're welcome. The Burpee Butterbush was Darwinslair's suggestion. He spotted it and referred it to me. I tried it, and although I had trouble because of the Pythium root rot, it did bear. Next year I'll deal with the Pythium by planting them in coir pots and letting them grow out just a bit before planting out; then I'll get a lot more than I got this year.

                  One thing about these smaller types, is that you can fit them neatly into rows. Not usually a concern of mine (but farmers like that), but next year I'll put them where the potatoes were this year, so I'll take advantage of their bushier habit.


                  • #10
                    Our favorite is the Choctaw Sweet Potato Winter Squash... hard shelled and will keep for a year. Very nice flavor, good producer in any soil. Insects don't bother it too much... strong grower out to 15' to 20' vines.



                    • #11
                      Winter Luxury is my favorite, however there seems to be some seed sources which have been accidentally cross-bred. Not pure; the skin should have grey netting, like a muskmelon and not smooth like a carving pumpkin.



                      • #12
                        A long neck moschata squash:

                        A particularly well flavored, orange fleshed, dense meated moschata squash:

                        A slightly smaller and slightly fewer DTM moschata with excellent pie qualities:

                        An option for an ideal sized couple of pies moschata at 90+ DTM looks interesting to me:


                        • #13
                          Libby's produces 90% of the world's canned pumpkin uses a variety of squash called "Dickinson". This squash is grown primarily in Illinois. Other commercial canners use Hubbard squash and a squash called Calabaza which is also West India Squash. Several of the "cheese pumpkins are in canned pumpkin pie mix.

                          I have not checked on the SSE availability but Sandhill Preservation offers a wide variety of squashes and pumpkins good for pumpkin pies including the Dickinson.

                          I am ready for a pumpkin pie taste testing festival to be organized somewhere. Pumpkin is not just for Thanksgiving anymore. This thread makes me hungry.


                          • #14
                            Most of the moschatas are great. We trialed Old Timey Cornfield Pumpkin, from South Carolina, this year. 8 plants produced about 400 lb of beautiful, delicious squash, which averaged about 16 lb apiece.

                            What amazed me was that this one made it through 9 weeks of 100+ F. and drought, with almost no irrigation, and they never even wilted during the heat of the day!

                            Hopefully, Sandhill Preservation will be offering it in the coming year.



                            • #15
                              <laughing> We didn't get 9 weeks without a frost it seems this year.