The best part of fall? Pumpkins! From the front porch to the kitchen, placing a few here and there is the perfect way to make your home feel festive. Not all varieties are alike. Whether you’re hoping for the best farmhouse porch display, awesome jack o’ lanterns, or the tastiest ones for baking, there’s a variety that perfectly fits your needs.
Pie pumpkins are better suited to baking. Their thick, buttery flesh makes the best pie filling and baked goods. Look for ones labeled “sugar” or “pie pumpkins” and varieties like Winter Luxury, New England Pie Pumpkins, or New England Cheddar (see cheese pumpkins).
To make fresh puree, halve your pumpkin and scrape out the seeds and string. Place the halves upside down in a lightly oiled baking dish. Bake at 350°F for one to two hours, or until the flesh is soft. Scrape out the flesh, then mash it or run it through a food processor until it is smooth.
Jack O’ Lantern Pumpkins
Also called field pumpkins, these are your typical large, orange variety. They are perfect for carving. You can’t celebrate Halloween without a few of these! (Pro tip: use a serrated knife for easy carving.)
Just like the name suggests, these large, somewhat flattened ones look just like the one the fairy godmother turned into a carriage in the popular Disney movie. Add a touch of whimsy to your fall display with these bright red-orange beauties or use their sweet flesh for baking.
We love miniature pumpkins for indoor uses, such as autumn centerpieces or windowsill decorations. They also make lovely additions to outdoor fall displays, and are an adorable way to dress up a porch railing. They’re an excellent choice for apartment dwellers and those with limited space. Look for varieties like Baby Boo (striped), Jack-Be-Little (orange), or Munchkin (orange).
Decorative gourds are perfect for indoor and outdoor displays. Their size lends them easily to apartments and small homes. They also last a long time, keeping your home festive right through Thanksgiving.
Jumbo gourds add fun texture to fall displays. Around Halloween, their witch or goblin-like appearance is perfect for inspiring young imaginations.
These are thought to resemble large wheels of cheese. Their subdued color is perfect for pairing with mums for unique fall decor. Their flattened shape is also great for creating your own stacked topiaries. Many of them are also good for baking. Look for varieties like New England Cheddar, Long Island Cheese, and Musee de Provence.
There’s more to the season than pumpkin spice. Spice up your décor and your dinner table with the real deal!