Purely Pumpkin is Allison Day's second cookbook, and we're happy that she's here today not only to share her guide to heirloom pumpkins, but to share her recipe for the drink of the season, the Classic Pumpkin Spice Latté.

A Guide To Heirloom Pumpkins


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My all-pumpkin cookbook, aptly titled Purely Pumpkin: More Than 100 Seasonal Recipes to Share, Savor, and Warm Your Kitchen, is out now. From the creamy interior to the cozy pumpkin spice blend to the crunchy seeds and ludicrously green oil that’s made from the seeds, pumpkin gives us plenty to work with –– and I’ve employed it throughout Purely Pumpkin in more than 100 ways.

A Guide To Heirloom Pumpkins | Food Bloggers of Canada

Coincidentally, I grew up about five minutes down the road from miles upon miles of pumpkin patches. (I’d like to think this gives me at least some authority on writing an all-pumpkin cookbook!) These fields of humongous fireball freckles dotting the landscape are always waiting to be made into spooky art for your doorstep or edible art for your family and friends. To this day, pumpkin patches continue to instill a sense of cozy wonder in me, making me feel right at home –– partly because they’re quite near my family home, but also because they’re the symbol of the season, generosity, and abundance of good food to come. 

Heirloom Pumpkin Guide

A Guide To Heirloom Pumpkins | Food Bloggers of Canada

Pumpkin is not a true vegetable due to its anatomy; it’s a fruit, belonging to the Cucurbita family of plants that comes in a variety of different shapes, sizes, colours, textures, and tastes. The terms pumpkin and squash are often interchangeable, as they’re both from the Cucurbita family.

Though not an exhaustive list, the following are the most easily sourced heirloom pumpkin (or squash) varietals. I cover nearly 30(!) heirloom pumpkins in Purely Pumpkin — here are 10 to get you started.

  1. American Tonda: Traditionally shaped with alternating vertical marbled green and yellow skin. Contrary to its name, this is an Italian varietal classified for having the “classic” American pumpkin silhouette. It’s delectable roasted, puréed for soups or risotto, and added to salads.
  2. Black Futsu: Intensely dark green skin with tiny bumps, a blush of yellow, and busy ribbing. The hearty flesh of this prized Japanese varietal is sweet with notes of hazelnut. Favored preparations include roasting and stuffing.
  3. Cinderella: Looks like Cinderella’s pumpkin coach with its flat, round shape and traffic cone–orange exterior. Its flesh is custardy and smooth, making it wonderful roasted whole, stuffed, stewed, or blended into a silky soup.
  4. Fairytale/Musquée de Provence: Beautiful, pronounced divots in its burnished, ochre skin. From the south of France, this large pumpkin is often found already sliced into wedges for cooking at French markets, though it can be purchased whole.
  5. Flat White Boer: Ivory-skinned, flat, and perfectly pleated. The loud orange flesh is custardy and rich. This pumpkin is idyllic whole roasted or stuffed due to its show-stopping appearance and substantial texture.
  6. Galeux d'Eysines: Decorated with “peanuts” on its peach exterior. The more “peanuts,” the sweeter the flesh. This French varietal with supremely delicious meat is excellent for roasting, soups, desserts, stews and more.
  7. Hooligan: Very tiny with orange-speckled white skin. Slightly stringy and watery, but works well if hollowed and roasted for use as a soup “bowl.”
  8. Jarrahdale: Soft green exterior and melon-like interior. From New Zealand, it’s minimally stringy with a light, fruity flesh. It’s lovely roasted whole, chunked and stewed in a curry, or sliced into wedges and steamed.
  9. Marina di Chioggia: An Italian heirloom variety with an evergreen skin and deep orange interior. Its creamy, sturdy flesh was made for ravioli fillings, pasta sauces, gnocchi, and grilling.
  10. Porcelain Doll: Baby pink and big. Contains a deep orange, velvety, delicious flesh that can be used for roasting, stuffing, salads, and desserts.
RELATED:  Alice Eats Giveaway!

Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Latte

A Guide To Heirloom Pumpkins | Food Bloggers of Canada

The drink that started it all –– and you can make it right in your own kitchen with this pumpkin spice latte recipe! Thanks to Detour Coffee’s Director of Coffee, Geoff Woodley, for the expert beverage styling.

4.5 from 8 reviews
Classic Pumpkin Spice Latte
Recipe type: Beverage
Serves: Serves 1
Spice Latte Base
  • ½ cup tightly packed demerara sugar (dark brown sugar)
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup pumpkin purée
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Pumpkin Spice Latte
  • 2 ounces brewed espresso or brewed strong coffee
  • 2 tablespoons Pumpkin Spice Latté Base
  • 1 cup whole milk or milk of choice, steamed
  • sweetened whipped cream, for serving
  • pumpkin spice, for serving (optional)
Spice Latte Base
  1. In a medium saucepan, warm water and sugar over medium heat until sugar is dissolved (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat and whisk in remaining ingredients. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a glass jar. Seal jar and refrigerate for up to 1 month. Shake or stir before use.
Pumpkin Spice Latte
  1. In a warm mug, combine espresso and latté base. Top with steamed milk. Serve hot with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin spice, if using.

Purely Pumpkin: More Than 100 Seasonal Recipes to Share, Savor, and Warm Your Kitchen
Author: Allison Day
Hardcover: 280 pages
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
ISBN-13: 978-1510709652


Excerpt from Purely Pumpkin by Allison Day (Skyhorse Publishing, September 6, 2016)

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The Classic Pumpkin Spice Latte

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Allison Day is the author of Whole Bowls: Complete Gluten-Free and Vegetable Meals to Power Your Day  and Purely Pumpkin: More Than 100 Seasonal Recipes to Share, Savor, and Warm Your Kitchen. She blogs at Yummy Beet and you can find her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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Luzviminda Gunter-Smith

I use pumpkin in so many ways aside from making it a pie, I made a pumpkin with coconut soup, I incorporate cooked mashed pumpkin in my bread. I love to grow my pumpkin so get extra to use for my cooking and I always have one dried out that I made into a bird cage. A lot of creative things we can do with pumpkin tk the table, as a decor.

Elaine Chubry

We prefer the classic pumpkin pie. I have used pumpkin puree to bake, crinkle cookies, granola bars and biscotti.

Gabby Peyton

I can’t believe how much I learned about pumpkin in this blog post alone! I know nothing, and I want to know everything now!


A pumpkin milkshake! I freeze purée of roasted pumpkin in ice cube trays and I use them to make a pumpkin milkshake with lots of yummy fall spices. It’s the best!


I made an amazing (if I may say so) pumpkin bread pudding last year, with a maple pumpkin sauce that I’m still swooning over. I think the sauce may be my favourite pumpkin creation to date (aside from pumpkin pie, of course, which is an enduring and much-demanded classic in my family).

Julia (@Imagelicious)

I love using pumpkin puree in pancakes instead of yogurt or sour cream. Also I add it to ground meat when I make stuffed peppers, it adds some sweetness, fibre, richness and moisture to the stuffing.

Corry L.

My favourite way to use pumpkin is Luscious Four-Layer Pumpkin Cake. It’s to-die-for and I make it every Thanksgiving instead of traditional pumpkin pie!

Sara Fraser

I make pumpkin (or squash) soup: pumpkin cooked with onion, garlic, and chicken or vegetable stock then pureed and some skim milk added. Toasted pumpkin seeds on top! A favourite.


I love that there’s a book dedicated entirely to pumpkin, which is a staple in my winter CSA baskets. This book will definitely help me work them and keep me out of the pumpkin rut I find myself in toward the end of the season. I love the abundance of pumpkin but sometimes my ideas for what to do with it aren’t as plentiful.


I love roasting pumpkin in small cubes together with roasted carrots. – it is a delicious side dish that I tried in Australia so many years ago and still crave.

Suhani S

Aside from the delicious pumpkin pie, I love making pumpkin soup eaten with garlic croustini. I also love making pumpkin smoothies – just add some pumpkin puree, cinnamon, banana, and nut milk!
YAY! Pumpkin season is here 🙂

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