Monday, December 31, 2012

Pump up the Pie!

2012 marks the first year I made pumpkin pie with a proper PIE PUMPKIN.  I've always only ever used a regular 'ol jack-o-lantern pumpkin and I really cannot believe the difference. Now there's a chance I just did a better job cooking the little pie pumpkin, but the texture difference was really noticeable. 
So here's the scoop (haha, pun intended!):
Quarter a pie pumpkin and roast it at 300 C, skin side up, until a knife easily pierces and goes through the flesh.

 Let cool until you can handle it enough to scoop out the flesh and leave the skins for the pigs/compost.
Put the cooked flesh through a food processor until smooth.
This next step is the most crucial, to me, since I am very particular about the texture of my pumpkin pie. I married into a family who seems to like very wet pies, but I much prefer one I can pick up like pizza and eat for breakfast without it jiggling, dripping or moving.  That is why I drain it through a fine metal colander for a while (until I'm satisfied that it's not dripping anymore).
I found the pie pumpkin to be much drier to start with, as opposed to the jack o lanterns I've used that have been very wet and took a lot more draining. 

 Now here comes the part you can easily customize to your taste.  Throw the drained pumpkin back into the food processor and add some variations of the following:

  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 2-3 eggs
  • 1-2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • lots of vanilla
  • lots of nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • bit of cinnamon
  • bit of ginger
 You might as well find out now that I'm a big taster and have no problem with raw eggs (ones from our farm at least) so I like to give it a whish in the processor, taste and add accordingly. 
Finally, pour that mixture into an unbaked pie shell and cook in 350 oven until knife comes out clean.

Ta Da!
If you feel like you need to, some good whipped cream is a nice addition, but I like mine naked. :)

The best part about this recipe is that once the pumpkin is drained, it can be frozen into cup or 2 cup portions, ready for a pie anytime of year!  There is nothing like warm pumpkin pie on a chilly winter day to warm the body and soul. 

Thanks to Jen for the perfect pumpkin!


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