Pumpkin Pie Showdown!: Homemade v. Canned Puree

Thanksgiving is incomplete without pumpkin pie. But how do you make it? We took our two household pumpkin pie recipes and prepared each of them with canned pumpkin puree and homemade pumpkin puree. We then held a taste testing showdown with our families to see which was the favorite!

pumpkin pie showdown

We had five pies: Grammy’s pie recipe using canned puree and homemade puree, Pop-Pop’s recipe using canned puree and homemade puree (all of these had all-butter crusts), and Grammy’s recipe with canned puree and a shortening crust.

It was a lot of fun tasting these pies, I’m not going to lie. The adults really took it seriously, and so did the older kids. They were really excited about participating in the tasting (FIVE [small] pieces of pie!) and were pleased that they got to vote on their favorite pie.

All of the pies were tasty. But there were noticeable differences. Of the nine voters, only three people preferred the pies made with homemade puree. One of our testers liked the soft texture of the pies with homemade puree.

Most of the testers, however, felt that the homemade puree made the pies too soft-textured and not firm enough. Six testers preferred the pies with canned puree. One tester felt that the flavor of the homemade puree was watered-down and the texture was too loose (the pies with homemade puree didn’t seem to have set properly, though fully baked).

Most of the testers also preferred the sweeter pies, made with Grammy’s recipe. Seven testers voted for pies made with this recipe. Pop-Pop’s less-sweet pies were favored by two testers.

The verdict: whatever pumpkin pie recipe you use, go with canned puree. It’s easier to use, and both the flavor and the texture of the pies was superior to those made with homemade puree. Winner: canned pumpkin puree. (And nine very happy taste testers!)



About Cooking for the Fam

Katie and Theresa are sisters-in-law who are passionate about food, passionate about family, and passionate about making and sharing food with their families. The Fam needs to eat. Make it good!
This entry was posted in Dessert, Showdown and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Pumpkin Pie Showdown!: Homemade v. Canned Puree

  1. Amy Williams says:

    I recently made pumpkin purée from a pie pumpkin bought from a pumpkin patch. I had the same thoughts you described about it. It was more liquidy and had a much less “pumpkiny” flavor than the canned. It’s currently in my freezer, waiting to see what I will do with it. I had a little bit of guilt about thinking that the canned seemed much better than my homemade! I feel much better now!


    • I’m pretty into making things that most people would just buy – but I love good food, too, so taste is always a huge factor in determining whether to continue making or go back to buying. For your frozen homemade pumpkin, I would recommend soup. 🙂


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