When I first decided to make our pumpkin pies from local 'pumpkin' I exposed my ignorance pretty much right away.
To Chuck at Mead Orchard I said with undue swagger and confidence "Chuck, I would like to buy some pumpkin to use in all of our pumpkin pies." Always polite and ever the teacher, Chuck looked down for a second and told me that he's never had much luck making pumpkin pies from pumpkins but highly recommended something called 'Hubbard Squash'. Not wanting to let him know that I had no idea what that was, I said, 'Ok, give me 6 or 7 of them to test!'
When I went back to the farm to pick up my weekly order of peaches, plums and late raspberries, there were some of the ugliest looking produce I have ever seen. I will post a picture to facebook, but let me try to describe the outside for you. Here is an image for you: if a wicked witch and W.C. Fields were morphed and you only looked at the nose and if that nose were the same color green as bread mold - that's what these squash look like!
Back at the bakery, I duly tried to cut the first Hubbard Squash open to see what I was working with. It was unbelievably difficult to cut! I decided to roast them whole, right on the spot! Once opened, though, the squash were a mild ochre color with the most amazingly rich deep pumpkin flavor! Mixed with eggs, cream, sugar and spices the baked pie was very tasty, but that deep orange color that my customers have come to love was missing!
Back to the farm I went. "How about using some Fairy Tale Pumpkins?"
Another variety that I had never heard of, but once I saw them, I realized that I, of course, knew what they were (you will too!) These are deeply ribbed, squat pumpkins with a deep orange peel (and flesh!).
Mixed together, the Hubbard and the Fairy Tale create a fragrant, moist and pudding-like pie!