Cooking Pumpkins

Many cooking pumpkin varieties come to market this time of year. The pumpkin varieties make great pies, tarts, cakes, raviolis, soups and so on.

My favorite pie pumpkin is the Australian Queensland Blue. It has a gray/green skin and a deep orange flesh. It is often confused with Jarrahdale Squash which is very similar in look. I love this pumpkin because it is thick and meaty and has the perfect flavor for pies. The seeds are plump and meaty also and are great roasted.

The Lumina variety or White Pumpkin is also a dense fleshed pumpkin with thick seeds.

The New England Sugar Pie and the Mystic varieties are your normal looking orange pumpkins that have been the common cooking varieties over the years.

More Squatty shaped pumpkins with deep ribbed furrows would be the Cinderella variety, which has a thick moist flesh and the Fairytale variety which is more dense and less moist.

Whatever variety you choose, the perfect baking pumpkin should be hard and heavy with no soft spots or cracks. Check the stem area to make sure that there isn't any breakdown as short stemmed pumpkins will faster than long stemmed pumpkins.