Friday, October 20, 2006

Did You Know You Can Make Pumpkin Pie Out Of Real Pumpkins?

My husband is a pumpkin pie connoisseur. He loves the slimey pastey things. Though I am far from picky, I detest pumpkin pie. However, I have now discovered that a pie made from fresh pumpkin is tolerable to my palate and superb to the rest of my family. I have tried this recipe twice. Once with a regular old pumpkin out of my garden and once with a sweet pumpkin I purchased at the grocery store for $1.09. Both resulted in rave reviews. So, if you like pumpkin pie and have never made it out of a real pumpkin, here is the technique.

And it only takes about 60-90 minutes or so start to finish.

Preheat your oven to 425.

First, cut the pumpkin in half lenthgthwise. Pull off the stem and scrape out the seeds and as much of the stringy stuff as you can get out (an icecream scoop works nicely).

Next, cut the halves into quarters or so and microwave them, covered, for about 10-15 minutes, on high power or until nice and smooshy.

Then, scrape the meat off the rind (those big spoons work nice, the kind you don't use for cereal, I think they are soup spoons, but I don't use them for that either). You will need about 3 cups of pumpkin goo and a pretty small pumpkin does it surprisingly well.

Get out your handy dandy blender or food processor (or a hand mixer if your patient). In it dump:

3 cups freshly cooked pumpkin goop
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1.5 cans (12 oz size) evaporated milk
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of salt

Mix well until smooth. Place pie crust on oven rack and pour pie filling into pie crust (I make the pie crust while the pumpkin is in the microwave, multi-tasking). My husband like it nice and thick, so I fill it up to about a quarter inch from the top. CAREFULLY push the oven rack in - it sloshes. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes then turn the oven down to 250 and bake for another 20-30 minutes (the recipe I went off of said 45-60, but that was too long) - insert a butter knife; if it's done it should come out clean.

I got this recipe off and they had lots of pictures and great instructions. And, my husband said my pie was a 9 out of 10 and he can't give out a 10 until he is dead, thereby having tasted all the pumpkin pie he will taste and able to judge which was the best.

It was fun to make - my four year old got to see the plant life cycle from seed to pie. Worth the effort.

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