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When I'm making a pumpkin pie, does it matter what sort of pumpkin I use? Are the specific varieties that are more suited to pies or can I just use any pumpkin?

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You may use all sorts of pumpkins and squashes (a Cucurbita moschata or Cucurbita pepo may be called either, depending on variety) to make a pie. The Halloween types may not be the best choice: they tend to be stringy, not very sweet, and sometimes over treated with pesticides. Instead look for the small varieties (around 5 lbs.) called Sugar, Long Pie, or Trickster.

When making the pumpkin purée for a pie from scratch it is important to deal with the water content of the pumpkin. After you bake, cool, and purée the pumpkin, you may need to use a cheesecloth to wring the purée.

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I second the advice to steer clear of the jack-o-lantern style pumpkins and go for the smaller "pie" pumpkins. And you will definitely want to let the pumpkin purée sit in a colander or strainer for a few hours before using. –  kevins Jul 14 '10 at 22:22
    
I let the puree set in a colander for 2 days to drain. Baking really is the way to go to cook the pumpkin –  John Dyer Jul 17 '10 at 2:20
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The advice is to stay clear of the ones specifically tuned for halloween. To a first approximation, if you find it in the grocery, it's good.

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