Which heirloom pumpkin makes the BEST pumpkin pie?

…we decided to find out!

On Sunday, October 1st, we held our first-ever pumpkin pie baking contest!  All staff members were invited to bake a pie from scratch using one of our heirloom pumpkins!

Margo and Ann checking out the pumpkin pies before judging begins


We had seven bakers in all, some of whom had never tried making pie from scratch before! Our four judges rated each pie for overall appearance, quality of crust, and flavor/texture of filling.

Our bakers used a variety of pumpkins. Based on the judges’ scores, the favorites by far were Pink Banana and Neck Pumpkins. Close behind those were the Blue Hubbard and Red Kuri squash!

Our esteemed judges: Jan Wolff, Peggy & Conrad Wolff, and prepared foods chef Chuck Smith



Judges hard at work!
Every pie was DELICIOUS!!

Jackie Clanton was our winner with a picture-perfect pumpkin pie.  Margo Nolen and Holly Thorpe tied for 2nd place, and Serena Grantland, a high schooler and first-time pie baker, won 3rd! Congratulations, everyone!

The winning pie!

Want to try this prize-winning pie at home? Here’s the recipe!


Jackie’s Prizewinning Pumpkin Pie

Longtime Wolff’s friend and employee Jackie Clanton took home first prize at our recent staff Pumpkin Pie Contest! You can use any one of our heirloom pumpkins for this recipe—Jackie used Red Kuri squash!

  • Author: Jackie Clanton
  • Category: Pie



Pastry for Single Crust:

  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 3 ½ Tbs cold water


  • 2 cups mashed, cooked pumpkin*
  • 1 (12oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. Prepare pie crust by mixing together the flour and salt. Cut shortening into flour; add cold water 1 Tbs at a time. Mix dough and repeat adding water until dough is moist enough to stick together.
  3. With lightly floured hands, shape dough into a ball. On lightly floured board, roll dough out to about 1/8” thickness. With sharp knife, cut dough 1 ½” larger than pie dish. Gently roll dough around rolling pin and transfer it onto pie plate. Unroll, easing dough into bottom of pie plate.
  4. In large bowl, beat pumpkin with condensed milk, eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt with electric mixer. Mix well. Pour into crust. Bake 40 minutes or until a knife inserted 1” from edge comes out clean.
  5. *To cook pumpkin: Preheat oven to 325°. Cut your heirloom pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Place halves cut side up in a shallow baking pan. (If the pumpkin you are using is very large, cut it into manageable pieces.) Add just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan, and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake until a fork slides easily through the flesh—this could take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the size of the halves and thickness of the flesh. After it cools, you can scoop out the flesh. A medium sized heirloom pumpkin will easily give you 2 cups for this recipe.

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