If you haven’t already heard, it’s pumpkin spice season. While we’ve been enjoying our pumpkin spice lattes and burning our pumpkin-scented candles for months now, November marks the official beginning of pie season—specifically, pumpkin pie season. No Thanksgiving dessert spread is complete without a golden-crusted, airy pumpkin pie, and Mama always taught us to bake our pies from scratch. Whether you’re making Our Easiest Pumpkin Pie Ever or a more elaborate pastry masterpiece, there’s one common denominator to any homemade pumpkin pie: the pumpkin puree.
Pumpkin puree forms the backbone of any pumpkin pie recipe, delivering that earthy seasonal flavor that we all crave come fall. But what brand of pumpkin puree should you be buying at the grocery store? We tested 5 popular grocery store brands of pumpkin puree to discover which can packed the best seasonal flavor.
WATCH: How To Make Our Easiest Pumpkin Pie Ever
Instead of asking our editors to eat pureed pumpkin straight from the can—which seemed like some form of punishment—we mixed the pumpkin puree with cool whip to create a pumpkin dip that they could scoop up with graham crackers. Other than the cool whip, we didn’t add any additional ingredients to the pumpkin puree in order to maintain the strongest, most authentic pumpkin flavor. And the overwhelming favorite surprised nobody.
Our unanimous favorite, the one we all saw coming: Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin Puree. Your mom undoubtedly kept cans of Libby’s stacked in the pantry throughout your childhood, and we’re here to confirm that mama knows best. Libby’s has the most natural and authentic pumpkin flavor without veering into sour territory; testers noted that it tastes like fresh pumpkin and unanimously voted it the best of the bunch.
Compared to other brands, Libby’s remained consistently smooth and naturally pumpkin-y. It shows off a nice orange color and is decently thick, but still airy. Although the only ingredient in this can is pumpkin, some testers detected lovely hints of pumpkin spice that made it a fan-favorite. Plus, Libby's has conveniently printed its signature pumpkin pie recipe right on the can.
We could go on and on about the reasons we love Libby’s, but we’ll just say this: It’s never let us down before, and more importantly, it’s never let Mama down, either. So next time you’re buying puree to make that pumpkin pie, don’t hesitate in picking up a can of Libby’s.