Sugar Pie pumpkin

It can be difficult to choose the right type of pumpkin for making pureed dishes! Fortunately, the Sugar Pie is a widely available, excellent choice.

The Sugar Pie pumpkin is a small heirloom pumpkin cultivar known for its sweet, fine-grained flesh and adorable round shape. Also known as New England Pie pumpkin, this type is most commonly used for making pumpkin pies, puréed soups, and cozy autumn stews, and also for general fall decor purposes.

Read on to learn all about Sugar Pie pumpkins!

Sugar pie pumpkins

Sugar Pie pumpkins: The basics

Sugar Pie pumpkins are small, round, orange pumpkins used for autumn decor and for cooked recipes. Sugar pumpkins weigh about 2-3 pounds, and measure about 6″ (15 cm) wide. They are an heirloom pumpkin cultivar from the New England area.

Sugar/Pie: A classic pumpkin shape, weighing two to three pounds. Its name is a bit of a contradiction as it produces a stringy, watery, lackluster pie. Use this for pureed soups and robust, savory flavored dishes. You can also clean and roast its seeds for an addictive snack.”

Purely Pumpkin: More Than 100 Seasonal Recipes to Share, Savor, and Warm Your Kitchen, by Allison Day
Sugar pie pumpkin

Growing Sugar Pie pumpkins

A sugar pie pumpkin can grow in any mild climate if they have enough water, fertile soil, and plenty of sun. They should only be planted once the soil has warmed up in the spring, and generally will not grow well in heat over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

When watering the sugar pumpkins, make sure that the soil does not become saturated. Keep the soil they are growing in moist, but not supersaturated with water, or your pumpkins may not grow well. Plus, just a bit of extra moisture can result in powdery mildew on the pumpkins. Powdery mildew can also be diminished by planting pumpkins in an area with good air circulation.

It takes 90-100 days for sugar pumpkins to grow to their full size. The pumpkins have a growing season of early spring or late summer and need to be planted during these times so that they can fully grow before the soil becomes cold and fall frosts begin. The pumpkin should be planted in moist, rich soil, with a soil temperature of 15°C (60°F).

Vines will grow about 8’–15′ long, depending on growing conditions. The length of time that a sugar pie pumpkin will last depends on a variety of factors such as storage environment and temperature.

A Sugar Piepumpkin is ready to harvest when the rinds of the pumpkin are bright orange and hard. After you harvest them, let them cure in the sun for about a week. After that, your pumpkins will be ready to eat and use in any food you like.

If you want to grow a Sugar Pie pumpkin but do not have a lot of space, plant the seeds in a large bucket, then move them when the roots are strong and the vines have overgrown the bucket. You can also purchase the plant at your local nursery and plant them where they have room to grow.

About 8-10 pumpkins will grow on a single Sugar Pie pumpkin plant. However, if you are planning on letting the pumpkins grow to be very large, you may want to limit the number of pumpkins that grow on each plant. If too many sugar pumpkins are growing on one plant, then none of them will grow to be very large.

Sugar pie pumpkin

Cooking with Sugar Pie pumpkins

A sugar pie pumpkin can be used in almost any food. They are great for making a pumpkin pie, or any other baked good. The pumpkins are sweet, so they will add a little bit of sweetness to any dish that you add them to, and make a great substitute for canned pumpkin.

They are most commonly cooked and then pureed to make a subtle-tasting, creamy, pumpkin puree for soups and similar dishes. To make sugar pumpkin puree, first cut the pumpkin(s) in half. Place them cut side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast at 375°F for about 45 minutes, or until the flesh is tender. Once the cooked pumpkin has cooled, blend it until smooth in a food processor, high-powered blender, or with an immersion blender. The fresh puree can be used the same way you would use canned pumpkins.

When the pumpkins are roasted or cooked, they tend to taste buttery, sweet, earthy, and slightly nutty. They are commonly used in savory dishes like soup, chili, and curry. If you do not want to put sweet pumpkins in any of your dessert dishes, you can also eat them as a side dish or a snack. The seeds of the sugar pie pumpkin are a wonderful snack that is salty and slightly sweet. The seeds can be roasted with some seasoning and olive oil, or saved for the next planting season.

New england sugar pie pumpkins

Where can I buy a sugar pie pumpkin?

You can purchase sugar pie pumpkin seeds or plants at any local nursery or gardening store, although you will have to specify that you want to purchase sugar pie pumpkin seeds rather than regular pumpkin seeds that grow into pumpkins that people use for carving classic Jack-O-Lanterns.

The sugar pumpkins are typically sold late in the fall until the early winter. Sometimes they can be found in grocery stores early in the fall when the early carving pumpkins are sold. They are also quite common at farmers’ markets and pumpkin patches. The pumpkins are commonly found in New England.

Sugar pie pumpkins

How are Sugar Pie and carving pumpkins different?

A sugar pie pumpkin is smaller than a standard carving pumpkin. They only grow to be 2-4 pounds, while carving pumpkins can grow to be up to around 10 pounds. A sugar pie pumpkin is also rounder than carving pumpkins as carving pumpkins tend to grow in a variety of ways, vertically or horizontally, whereas a sugar pie pumpkin tends to grow in a more consistent shape.

Inside, carving pumpkins and sugar pumpkins are somewhat different. Carving pumpkins have pale orange, stringy flesh that connects to the top of the pumpkin. Because most of the flesh strands tend to stay with the stem of the pumpkin that you remove, it is very easy to scoop out the rest of the flesh and carve your new pumpkin. Carving pumpkins also tend to be very heavy and look like they will be heavy when you pick them up.

A sugar pie pumpkin has flesh that is slightly darker and much thicker than the flesh in a carving pumpkin. When you remove the flesh inside a sugar pie pumpkin, it is very easy to scrape it out in chunks and set it aside to be cooked later. The flesh inside a sugar pie pumpkin is less stringy than the flesh inside a carving pumpkin (although it is still somewhat more stringy than gourmet cooking pumpkins like Jarrahdale Pumpkins).

Because a sugar pie pumpkin is much smaller than a carving pumpkin, they are easier to carry and don’t seem to be as heavy when you go to pick them up (great for kids!). However, they may feel slightly heavier than you think they should be because they are a bit denser than many carving pumpkins. See more small pumpkin varieties here!

Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a quintessential Canadian gardener. An engineer by trade, she tends to an ever-expanding collection of plants. In her world, laughter blooms as freely as her flowers, and every plant is raised with a dash of Canadian grit.

Mary Jane is a certified Master Gardener and also holds a Permaculture Design Certificate. She's also a proud mom of three, teaching her little sprouts the crucial difference between a garden friend and foe.

When she's not playing in the dirt, Mary Jane revels in her love for Taylor Swift, Gilmore Girls, ice hockey, and the surprisingly soothing sounds of bluegrass covers of classic hip-hop songs. She invites you to join her garden party, a place where you can share in the joy of growing and where every day is a new opportunity to find the perfect spot for yet another plant.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *