Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pumpkin Pie: Fairytale vs Pie Pumpkin vs Libby vs Costco

The first Thanksgiving DH and I shared after we were married we observed as just the two of us. I made two pumpkin pies. DH questioned my sanity, "We're only two people. We don't need two pies." I informed him, "One pie for me and one for you." Despite his disbelief, I did eat that entire pie myself (and some of his) within about 24 hours. A serving of pumpkin pie for me is a quarter of the pie, for pumpkin pie is my favorite non-chocolate dessert. :)

Of course, I had to make pumpkin pie from my roasted pumpkin I was curious if the homemade pumpkin purees would yield a superior pie.

I began by thawing 2 cups of each of my pumpkin purees: "pie pumpkin" and fairytale. Then I removed 2 tablespoons from each to bring the total volume down to 15-oz. I mixed the extra tablespoons with a little powdered ginger and a little formula to make a tasty lunch for Little Hands.

Above is a picture of each of the purees I used. I used a can of Libby's as my tried-and-true control lest the other two be awful!

A point of clarification. This is Libby's canned pumpkin. It is not Libby's canned pumpkin pie mix.

I baked the pies with identical spicing and HEB crusts. As you can see, I had difficulties gauging when the two homemade pies were baked. The Libby's starts to freckle just a bit when it's perfect, yet neither they fairytale nor the pie pumpkin freckled. I pulled both pies when the fairytale lost it's gleam. The fairytale ended up slightly over-baked and the pie pumpkin embarrassingly over-baked. They still taste fine. The real sin of over-baking is the ugly, cracked surfaces.

One of our Thanksgiving guests surprised us by bringing a Costco pumpkin pie. There was no shortage of pie at our feast! The fairytale is the prettiest: a beautiful pumpkin orange. The pie pumpkin started out an ugly yellow, but baked up to be fairly identical in color the Libby's pumpkin. The Costco color was prettier than the Libby's, but not as stunning as the Fairytale.

I considered making a pie chart of pie consumption, but I'll spare you that geekiness :)

The fairytale slices are slightly sweeter than the rest. The other three pies were fairly indistinguishable in quality of taste; however, DH did note the Costco has a touch more salt in its recipe. I feel the guests tended toward the home roasted pumpkin pies because they were politely honoring the fact they were more work to make. (This was not a blind taste test.)

Overall, my opinions:

  • Fairytale yielded the tastiest and prettiest pie. However, those advantages were so slight that I would not recommend that route! I will probably roast my own fairytale pumpkin again next year, but only because that's my brand of crazy. I do not frown upon any pie from other sources.
  • Pie Pumpkin was identical to Libby's save for being slightly more yellow. It's not worth the effort at all.
  • Libby's is just as good as home roasted pumpkin. It's a darker color prior to baking; I'd guess that to be a result of the high temperatures required in canning.
  • Costco is just as good as Libby's, and it's a bigger pie. A Costco pie is completely the way to go if you're pressed for time, have a huge crowd, or don't enjoy baking pies.

1 comment:

  1. LOVE this post - I've always wondered! Thanks for the comparison.