The flesh of pie pumpkins have a deeper orange color. A pie pumpkin's flesh is also extremely thick. A pie pumpkin should feel heavy for its size when picked up, but a carving pumpkin should "appear" roughly as heavy as it "feels."
Both pumpkins share about the same interior structure, although the sizes may be different. The largest part of the pumpkin is called the "body" and it contains the majority of the meat. The body is hollow and has several large openings called "seams" where the neck and stem join it. The stem is the thin, green portion that remains after the seeds are removed. It grows straight out of the center of the pumpkin and can be up to two feet long. Hanging plants will produce larger pumpkins.
Around the body there is a thick layer of fibrous material called the "rind" which contains most of the pumpkin's flavor. This is why you usually want to remove this before cooking it. Then there is a thin layer of soft tissue called the "skin" which covers the whole thing. This too should be removed because it doesn't taste like much and it's hard to cook with such small quantities of food. Finally, there is a small, white bulb attached to the stem with a narrow band of green tissue called the "choke". This isn't edible and it's very bitter so don't eat it.
The most significant distinction is what is contained within the pumpkin. Carving pumpkins (or jack-o-lantern pumpkins) contain pale orange flesh that isn't particularly plentiful. This makes it simple to cut into the flesh and create your elaborate patterns. They also tend to be heavier for their size, which means they contain more juice and are thus better for baking or cooking with than carving pumpkins.
Furthermore, pie pumpkins have a much straighter shape with no nubbins or bumps. This makes them ideal for carving into shapes that will hold their form during baking or cooking.
Finally, look at the stem. Is it straight and even? If so, then it's probably a pie pumpkin.
Now, if you're looking at two completely different-looking pumpkins, with one being carved and the other not, then you need to ask yourself why someone would carve a pumpkin anyway? Most people don't. It's simply an activity that some people enjoy doing with their carved pumpkins.
Carved pumpkins are beautiful decorations that add to the fall atmosphere. If you see someone enjoying their creation and taking time to decorate their porch with it, then go for it!
However, if you aren't interested in carving or crafting then stick to the simpler pumpkins.
Pie pumpkins have a denser, less stringy flesh. It's simpler to scrape out in larger chunks as opposed to stringy clumps like spaghetti squash. The seeds are also smaller and easier to separate from the pulp.
There are other varieties of pumpkin that fall under this category too. For example, there are wax pumpkin, which has a thick waxy coating around its exterior; and sugar pumpkin, which contains about six times as much sugar as regular pumpkin.
People used to carve their own pumpkins to use for lanterns at Halloween. Nowadays, you can buy carved jack-o-lanterns in stores. However, it's still possible to carve your own pumpkin and let nature take its course with the seeds.
Carved pumpkins look beautiful sitting on a porch or beside a house. They make great decorations for Halloween or Thanksgiving. You can find tutorials online for how to carve a pumpkin if you want to try it yourself. However, unless you plan to eat the seeds, it's not necessary!
Choose pumpkins weighing 3-6 pounds and with names such as Sugar Pie, New England Pie, or Baby Pam Pumpkin. Look for a pumpkin with a stem that is one to two inches long. If it's green, that's even better since it implies your pumpkin is really fresh. The pumpkin's form is irrelevant, but it must be clear of blemishes and soft places. But most important, you should be able to smell the fruit, it should have an earthy scent rather than a moldy one.
Of course, you can also use other indicators to identify your pumpkin. For example, you can look at the color of the flesh or study its shape. However, weight and stem length are by far the best indicators of quality. Also, don't worry about missing out on varieties that don't meet these criteria - they're not very popular and therefore not widely distributed.
Now that you know what kind of pumpkin you have, you need to decide if you want to cook it or not. If you plan to eat the pumpkin right away, then feel free to choose any type of pumpkin. If you want to preserve its juice for later use, however, only hard-shell varieties will work. Once cut open, the innards of a pumpkin will turn into sugar which will cause the pumpkin to become extremely sweet. This technique is called "capping" and it's usually done by farmers who sell their pumpkins at markets. It has no effect on the taste of the pumpkin itself but it does allow for more efficient use of the resource.
Pie pumpkins are smaller and sweeter than normal pumpkins, making them ideal for blending into a pie. All you have to do is purée them into pumpkin puree. You can use a food processor or hand mixer to do this job quickly.
You can also use canned pumpkin if you want to save time. Just be sure to buy the kind with no added sugar or salt. And if you want your pie to be truly homemade, bake your own pie shell using our recipe.
Pumpkin is very popular in America. It's used in pies, cakes, and cookies. It can be used instead of meat in dishes like chili. Of course, you can drink it too! It's delicious mixed into a bowl of ice cream or frozen yogurt.
Pumpkin is rich in vitamins A and C as well as iron. It helps prevent cancer and heart disease. Children who are not eating enough fruits and vegetables often go without pumpkin because they don't like its taste. But giving it a try once could change your mind about pumpkin. It's really tasty and nutritious!