Planning on using a real pumpkin this year for your Thanksgiving dessert? It sounds like a daunting task, but if you're prepared and follow good instructions, you can make it like a pro.
A few things to consider when buying a pumpkin for your baking efforts
The big pumpkins at the pumpkin patches used for carving look great, but they're not the way to go for baking. They tend to be stringy, somewhat bland, and watery. So keep those for decorations, but don't use them in your pumpkin pie recipe. Pumpkins used for baking are sweet and flavorful; they have smooth texture.
Look for pumpkins that are marked as sugar pumpkins or pie pumpkins. They are usually small and have a dark orange colored flesh. These are usually less than 10 pounds.
Ideally, pumpkins between 4 to 8 pounds are best for an average–sized pie. These will have a higher sugar content and smoother texture.
Once you have the perfect pumpkin for your recipe, it's time to bake it!
Now you're ready to use the pureed pumpkin for your filling!