Winter Luxury Culinary Pumpkin OG(100 days) Cucurbita pepo Open-pollinated. Back in 1988 when it was maintained only by the Jung Seed Co. in Wisconsin, Mark Fulford recognized that Luxury was “3–4 times as good for pies as New England Pie…so beautiful…that it breaks my heart to cut one open.”
Since generating rave reviews from squash expert Amy Goldman, it has become more widely available. Uniquely russeted finely netted golden-orange skin. The beauty is far more than skin deep, with Goldman calling the “flavor as fabulous as her appearance,” and Elaine Carlson describing the purée as “really silken.”
Introduced in 1893 by Johnson & Stokes as Winter Luxury and in 1894 as Livingston’s Pie Squash by A.W. Livingston’s Sons. Joe Hiscott of Quebec enthuses that “after making pumpkin pies for more than two decades, I will say with great conviction that the Winter Luxury pumpkin is by far the BEST pie pumpkin. Best pumpkiny taste, best colour, best texture, best consistency. They have a rustic, antique look and even grow into nice manageable sizes, nothing unruly or watery. The ideal pie pumpkin!”
We have brought back the superior strain Hiscott lauds, maintained by Jonathan Spero. It’s definitely worth the slightly higher price. Vigorous vines bear globular 7–8 lb fruits with juicy tender slightly sweet pale orange flesh. Productive, too, but somewhat delicate and only fair keepers.
Goldman advises piercing the pumpkin with a few tiny vent holes, baking it whole until it slumps—about an hour at 350°, then scooping out the pumpkin flesh and putting it in the blender to make “the smoothest and most velvety pumpkin pie.” ①②
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