In which there is Pumpkin Pie – Just for Thanksgiving

Adam here.

I have been doing a lot more baking than I usually do. This most recent run came about because of our first Feastly. You see, although I’d been stupid busy I wanted to help out somehow. So, I thought I would make dessert. All that and I’d needed to do something with the pie pumpkin that had been a part of the  bounty we got through RelayFoods. Since that Feastly there have been the recently featured cake and another pie or two. If this keeps up it’s going to get dangerous.

Very dangerous.

Anywho, this post is about taking this pie pumpkin:

I, also, used that orange juice. It's my favorite kind.

and turning it to something more like this:

Serving of Pie

Now part of making this particular treat is that, at the time, I was on the look out for a new pastry crust. I was not feeling up to experimenting so I decided to go with an old standby: the graham cracker crust. It’s quick. It’s really, really easy. Most importantly, it’s tasty.

The other nice thing about graham cracker crusts or really any other crumb based crusts is that you don’t really need a recipe. Someone else has done the baking for you and all that is left is adding a little flour and butter and baking it again to turn it into a pie crust. For this particular crust, I went with 7 or so graham crackers. I smashed them to bits. Then I added a 1/4 a cup of flour and some cinnamon and grated nutmeg. Then there was the butter. I melted 5 tablespoons of butter, poured that into the mix, made a doughy-goo, and pushed it into the pie plate.

Then it got baked at 350 for about 20 min. Turns out that was about 4-5 minutes too long. The crust ended up being a little too dark along the edges. Still, it was tasty.

I need to level with y’all – when it comes to things I don’t do very often or that I’ve never tried. I’ll go with a recipe. I’m not going to promise that I’m going to pay attention to the recipes every detail. But, approximations need a place to start.

So it was with the filling. I’ve made a few pumpkin pies. Usually from can o’ Libbys. This time though I had this nice looking pie pumpkin. So where did I turn? The Joy of Cooking, 1975 edition. One of the things I love about the Joy is that each recipe is a narrative that comes with these little tidbits about how the authors really feel.

Anywho, the pumpkin pie recipe directs you to cut the pumpkin in half, seed and de-string it, then cook it on baking sheet in the oven (shell-side up) at 325 for about an hour. Fair warning: pumpkins, unlike squash, are full of juice and leak like the dickens. Once that pumpkin had gone from pretty looking gourd to bright-orange pulp, it went right into the food processor with a little bit of orange juice and was converted to pumpkin goo. It was at this point that all the other ingredients for what is, in effect, a custard pie, had to go in – a cup and a half of cream, two eggs, white and brown sugar, and the spices. Intermediate result? Behold:

Makin' Pie

After some judicious blending in Laura’s stand mixer, it came together nicely and was poured into the pie crust:

Pouring in the Pie(As you can probably tell there was some extra – more on the attempt to make a pumpkin creme brûlée later.)

So, in it went into the oven and after 15 minutes at 425 and then another 45 minutes at 350, there was pie:

A Finished Pie

 It was delicious.

Recipe from the Joy of Cooking follows.

Pumpkin Pie

  • 2 cups cooked pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cups cream
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • a dash of ground cloves
  • 2 slightly beaten eggs
  1. Pre-heat oven to 425º F
  2. Mix all ingredients until well blended.
  3. Pour into a pre-baked pie shell. (I’ll actually come up with a graham cracker crust to share one of these days)
  4. Bake at 425º F for 15 minutes.
  5. Turn the oven down to 350º F and bake for another 45 minutes or until a toothpick / knife inserted about halfway between the center and the crust comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool about 15-20 minutes and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Pie Cooking!

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