Monday, November 30, 2015

Pumpkin Pie From Scratch

For Thanksgiving this year, I decided to buy a couple of pumpkins and make 2 pumpkin pies from scratch. I always liked pumpkin pie, but I never thought it was anything to write home about. However, I never had real pumpkin pie as a kid, and boy does that make a world of difference. One of my friends actually tried the pie and asked what kind it was. When I told her it was pumpkin, she was surprised because she said she normally doesn't like pumpkin pie, but she liked this one! Definitely the best compliment I could have received.

I used a recipe from Sun Gold Farms, an Oregon Farm that sells produce at my local farmers market. I bought the sugar pumpkins at my farmers market and asked if they happened to have a recipe for pumpkin pie. I was in luck- they had a recipe printed up ready to go (they must of heard this question before). I decided to start cooking my pumpkin the day before Thanksgiving to save some time and oven space on the day off. Let me tell you, nothing makes your house smell more delicious than roasted pumpkins and pumpkin seeds. Here are the ingredients I used.

2 cups cooked pumpkin
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1-12 oz. can evaporated milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.  Wash pumpkin and cut off stem.  

Cut the top of the pumpkin off (like you would if you were making a jack-o'-lantern). Remove seeds from inside and cut in half. I placed the seeds into a colander and rinsed them off, because I wanted to roast them. I'll come back to that at the end of the post. 

Place cut side down in baking dish filled with 1/8 in water.

Bake in oven for about 1 hour or until soft to the touch.  Let the pumpkins cool to the touch. 

Scoop out flesh and put it into a food processor or Vitamix. It was easy to use a normal soup spoon to scoop out the flesh, since it was literally falling off the skin. Keep the flesh and throw away the skin.

Pure the pumpkin flesh. 

I had to stop my Vitamix a couple of times to push the pumpkin down, but it all blended into a nice thick paste after a couple of rounds.

Since I roasted the pumpkin the day before to get some prep work out of the way, I rationed out 2 cups of pumpkin puree into containers to use on Thanksgiving and stuck them in the fridge. 

When ready to cook the pie, preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Combine pumpkin, sugar, salt and spices.   Blend in beaten eggs and milk.  Pour into unbaked pie shell (I made one with 1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers, 1/3 cup sugar, and 6 TBSP of melted butter pushed into a non stick 9" pan).  Bake 15 min. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 45 min. more or until knife inserted into center comes out clean.  Makes one 9 " pie.

Serve it with some ice cream and whipped cream for the full pumpkin pie experience. So delicious!

As I mentioned above, I decided to rinse off the pumpkin seeds and roast them. I tossed them with a little bit of olive oil and salt and laid them flat on a cooking sheet. I baked them at 300 degrees for approx 45 minutes.

I was so surprised by how good these tasted! Definitely don't skip out on this step. You can toss them on a green bean/broccoli casserole, in a salad, or on the side of a cheese plate. I personally just munched on them while I cooked on Thanksgiving, and they were the perfect snack. 

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