Nov 22

Pumpkin Pie: Fresh or Canned?

Left to Right: Libby's canned, Delicata squash, Jarrahdale pumpkin, Sugar Pie pumpkin

Left to Right: Libby's canned, Delicata squash, Jarrahdale pumpkin, Sugar Pie pumpkin

There is a dilemma out in the cooking world surrounding pumpkins. Does a fresh roasted pumpkin puree have a leg over a can sitting on the shelf? Or does the famous canned pumpkin simply make a better pie? So, in good spirits, I wanted to find out for myself. And here is what I’ve learned.

Lots of gooey insides!

Lots of gooey insides!

I picked up a large Jarrahdale pumpkin and several small Sugar Pie pumpkins from the local farmers market. And from my internet research on Libby’s canned pumpkin, I found that they use a “special variety of pumpkin” that is actually more like a squash than a pumpkin. So I found some Delicata squash to use as well.

So what was the plan? 3 pies – one fresh pumpkin, one fresh squash, and one canned. To provide a constant in the experiment, I used the same Cook’s Illustrated crust and Libby’s famous pumpkin pie recipe for each pie.

Smooooth as butta'

Smooooth as butta'

Same crust, same sugar and spices, same amount of loving put into creation.
The ONLY difference was the vegetable – pumpkin or squash.

Cut. Scoop. Bake. Cool. Scoop. Drain. Blend. That’s really all it takes to make fresh pumpkin puree, with an added bonus of roasted pumpkin seeds. Ok, it IS a little bit more intense than “easy as pie,” but it’s not more work than say, canning fruit or vegetables. And I do enjoy spending time in the kitchen and trying new things. However, it’s a lot more effort than turning the can opener.



The taste test:

Pie 1: Fresh Delicata squash
Pie 2: Fresh blend of Jarrahdale and Sugar Pie
Pie 3: Libby’s canned 100% pumpkin

And the results:

Pie 1: Hmm, is this the canned one? Pretty darn yummy, but a bit firm.
Pie 2: Hold on one minute, did someone put VEGETABLES in my PIE?!
Pie 3: Yummm. This creamy pie reminds me of mom’s pie after turkey.

Lesson learned:

“Tastes better” is all relative to your personal definition. (And your choice of pie texture).



  1. Farmer Brown says:

    You may want to pick up an Heirloom pumpkin used for pies called; Winter Luxury,then try your taste test!

  2. […] image above was too beautiful to pass up!  It’s from the blog post of sewing and food blogger FabriKate who also got curious about the difference between canned vs fresh and pumpkin vs squash.  Her […]