Fall ushers in cooler temperatures and a new crop of produce at the farmer’s market — perhaps most notably, because of their size and bright colors, pumpkins. With 80 percent of the pumpkin crop in the U.S. harvested in October, you can safely bet that there will be plenty of pumpkins for you to choose from in coming weeks for your Halloween jack-o-lanterns and spiced fall desserts.Thanksgiving pumpkin pie and incorporate this healthy, delicious, and versatile food into a wider array of dessert recipes, you will need to understand how to pick the perfect pumpkin for baking.
Reserve the large carving pumpkins for your fall décor; they aren’t the best for baking because their pulp tends to be watery and stringy. Instead look for smaller pumpkins between four and eight pounds. Such varieties as sugar pumpkins, Baby Bears, Cinderellas, Fairytales, New England pie pumpkins, and Baby Pams have dense, smooth flesh perfect for making pumpkin purée for your favorite dessert recipe.
Your choice of pumpkin is crucial to the texture and flavor of your dessert. Libby’s, the largest supplier of canned pumpkin in the country, grows its own unique variety of pumpkin to produce a consistent, concentrated, smooth pumpkin purée. Don’t be afraid to opt for canned purée in lieu of making your own.
Whether you use canned purée or homemade these 13 delicious pumpkin dessert recipes will be a hit at your fall holiday parties.
Cranberry Pumpkin Cookies
Dried cranberries give these festive pumpkin cookies a nice zing and fruitiness. Pack these along with your brown-bag lunch for a little something special. — Taste of Home
Nothing says fall like a loaf of pumpkin bread making its way out from the oven! The hankering for this tasty bread remains year-long for many and well within reach with canned pumpkin and a few other baking staples. — Egg-land’s Best Eggs
Angela Carlos is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Find her on Twitter and tweet @angelaccarlos.