Monday, December 1, 2014

Pumpkin Pie from Scratch

I'm feeling particularly restless today.

It likely has A LOT to do with adjusting to reality after an amazing four-day weekend out of town visiting my favorite people on this earth.

It gets harder and harder to leave every time. So yesterday and today have felt a since coming back to The City.

But enough with the sadness! Let's talk about PIE.


Are you burned out on pumpkin yet? Because this recipe is actually pretty cool.

Right before Halloween, while we were buying our pumpkin, The Mister asked if we could get a second pumpkin to make a pie from scratch. I've never had ANY experience whatsoever in this, but it's possible, people! We did a little research and, with some guidance from the farmer's market lady, bought a "cheddar pumpkin."

(Other pumpkins for this are better known as "pie pumpkins," but our local folks recommended the cheddar.)

We had to dig a little bit, but we finally found a great recipe at that was surprisingly easy - nowhere near as intimidating as it seemed.

Once you clean the pumpkin on the outside, you'll have to slice it in half and clean the insides before you cook the rind.

You can cook it in the microwave if you're pressed for time, but I recommend baking it because there will be no doubt when it's done.

Plus sometimes microwaves freak me out.

I'm weird. I know. I've accepted it.

Cooked pumpkin!

My advice, though? DEFINITELY use an ice cream scoop to scoop out the insides. This is SO MUCH EASIER (and faster! and more efficient!) than using a large spoon like I used to do. It really took all of three minutes to clean out the entire pumpkin.

The pumpkin rind - post-scooping!

Also, while this tasted great, I prefer my pumpkin pie a little sweeter, so I would recommend using more vanilla than called for, and possibly more sugar. I didn't have any evaporated milk on hand, so I used sweetened condensed milk, so that could have possibly been what made the difference.

The pumpkin "meat"

I hope you enjoy this - our little kitchen smelled great as it baked. It's a great way to kick off the holidays :)

P.S. If you wanna be REALLY scandalous...try drizzling that beauty with condensed milk right before you dig in. No regrets!

"From Scratch" Pumpkin Pie

Makes 2 pies

What You'll Need:
1 pie pumpkin (we used a cheddar pumpkin)
2 frozen (or homemade) pie crusts
1 cup of sugar
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves*
1 tsp ground allspice*
1/2 tsp ginger*
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
4 large eggs (Makes a lighter, fluffy pie. For a more dense pie, use just 3 eggs)
1.5 cans of evaporated milk
Optional: Whipped cream

*I used just over 3 tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice instead of these ingredients, as the original recipe listed as a replacement.

What You'll Do:
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Wash pumpkin thoroughly in cool or warm water. Cut in half using a serrated knife (a smooth knife could be dangerous) and clean out the insides with an ice cream scoop. Once clean, lay each half face-down on the baking sheet. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. Stick a fork in each half to see if it's soft, and if not then bake longer (up to 90 minutes).

Using a spoon or ice cream scoop, scoop out the soft insides of the pumpkin until just the rind (or now soft "peeling") is left. Once cooled, use a hand (immersion) blender, hand mixer, or regular blender and blend until smooth.

Combine the remaining ingredients (minus the whipped cream) with about 3 cups of the pumpkin meat and mix until smooth and evenly blended. Pour into pie crusts and bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then turn heat down to 350 for around 45 minutes. You'll know the pie is done when you can stick a butter knife into the center and it comes out clean.

Let the pie cool then serve warm with whipped cream.

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