10/31/2014 07:39 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Fresh vs. Canned Pumpkin: When Should You Use Which?

Fresh always sounds like the better idea, right? From-scratch chocolate chip cookies will always be more appealing than Pillsbury slice and bake. But when it comes to pumpkin pie, so many of us just reach for the can, even though there are piles and piles of sugar pumpkins just waiting to be roasted this time of year. (Because, yes, you can make pumpkin pie from a fresh pumpkin.)

Here's the thing though: After years and years of making pumpkin pie from a can, will the flavor of a fresh pumpkin really taste better? Food blogger Tessa of Handle the Heat did a taste test to find out. Tessa compared the flavors and texture of fresh pumpkin puree, a can of Libby's pumpkin puree, and a can of organic pumpkin puree. The color difference between the three is astounding. Take a look:

Handle The Heat

Tessa found that once the purees were baked into a pie -- three pumpkin pies! -- the color and flavor difference was less of a factor because they were all baked with sugar and spice. But, what did make a difference in the end was the texture of the purees. She reports that the regular canned was the firmest, the organic canned was most watery, and the fresh puree was the lightest and most velvety.

Handle The Heat

But as to which one was the best? That's a toss up, she says, between the fresh and canned -- the organic canned wasn't even a contender. Check out her writeup for more details. And you may want to consider doing your own taste test at home, if for nothing else but the reward of three pumpkin pies for all your hard work.

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