30 November 2010

Pumpkin Pie from a Pumpkin (Not a Can)

I came across a great website the other day and decided to try my hand at making pumpkin pie from a pumpkin versus the can I reach for every year. I figured that I had several pumpkins around the house which I had not gotten around to make into jack-o-lanterns in time for Halloween and since it was cold outside, the pumpkins had kept well in the meantime.

Two of the pumpkins had, in fact, been free since our town’s local Halloween festival hands out free pumpkins. After all, the Midwest is America’s Pumpkin Capital, so to speak, as the majority of pumpkins grown are out here. If you drive around areas of Wisconsin, as I did one day in early October, you can see field after field of orange, pumpkins by the thousands. With that encouragement of knowing that if I do fail in my attempt, I would not really be wasting a lot of $$, I went for it.

First, I washed the pumpkin very carefully with plenty of water. I cut it into manageable chunks, cleaned out the guts, and placed the pumpkin face down in my roasting pan and baked it covered. When it came out, there was really not much work, the skin came right off.

To be safe, because I was not sure whether my pumpkin was the variety meant for jack-o-lantern making versus pie making, I set it in my sieve for a half an hour to catch the water. Since my blender did not seem to want to blend the pumpkin for me, as I had drained the majority of the water earlier, I decided not to worry about the texture, which ended up not affecting the pie in the least bit anyway.

I then followed the recipe I found (except of course I forgot to check that I had ground ginger and vanilla extract, so mine did not have those flavors in it), and made two pumpkin pies, one in a graham cracker crust and one in a traditional deep dish crust.  I love to use a knife to check if the pie is done several times just so that I can sneak a taste here and there, so please forgive the knife marks in my otherwise beautiful pies.

I think that I should not have put as much ground cloves since I did not have the vanilla extract and ginger to balance it. However, the pies were eaten very quickly by my family and everyone raved how they could taste the difference this year and that I should make it this way every year.

I also ended up having enough pumpkin left over to make 2 1/2 more pies so I froze it in a plastic freezer bag to use another time.  I think I will make pumpkin muffins next.

If you are interested in the recipe I used, please check out http://www.pickyourown.org/pumpkinpie.php


dead reformer said...

Ah, the best way to handle the knife marks would be to make them in the shape of letters, such as your or the kids' initials. That way you'll get plenty of sample tastes and it will look cute too. :)

Rebecca said...

I did not bake my pumpkin I steamed mine and then I did not have to blend when it was done I put it in some cheese cloth and pressed the extra water out and it was ready. I also made mine in a gramcraker crust which I had never done before and my family loved it also.