If you want the very best-tasting pumpkin pie, the one ingredient to avoid putting in your pie is…pumpkin.
Yes, I know this seems like a rather absurd statement, but commercial pumpkin pie fillings aren’t really made with pumpkins, rather they are made with specific varieties of butternut squash.
Now, before you vent your outrage at the big food corporations for misleading consumers, keep in mind that the terms "Pumpkin" and "Squash" don’t really have a precise botanical meaning, and one really needs to delve into a bit of botany to understand how the two are related.
Most varieties of Halloween carving pumpkins are from the species Cucurbita pepo, whereas pumpkin pie fillings are varieties of Cucurbita moschata that includes the rich-flavoured and meaty, butternut squashes.
Of course, if you’re thinking, "Why can’t I have the best of both worlds – something that I could either carve or eat and still looks like a pumpkin?" Well, this year, we have the perfect solution to the pumpkin/squash conundrum. It’s sort of a "Have your carve and eat it too" scenario. Cinderella is a variety that has both a rich, red-orange skin and looks like a pumpkin, but has delicious orange flesh that can be baked or used in pies.
But just remember that while Cinderella is great for cutting or culinary purposes, it is far too small to be used as a carriage.