I know it’s past Thanksgiving, but I couldn’t resist sharing my first real pumpkin pie recipe experience. Hard to believe that during all my tenure at King Orchards, I’ve never taken a pie pumpkin home and made a real old-fashioned pumpkin pie, but after tasting the results, I don’t think I’ll ever use canned pumpkin again!
I started with the recipe at pickyourown.org, which has excellent tips and visual references for preparing and cooking the pumpkin. I chose to halve mine the way we usually do squash, and baked it in the oven until tender. Piece of cake. The cooked pumpkin came out of the shell easily with an ice cream scoop. Then I used combination potato masher and hand mixer to get the gloop good and smooth.
Here is the recipe from PickYourOwn:
- a pie pumpkin
- 1 cup sugar
- 1.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs
- 3 cups pumpkin glop (ok… “sieved, cooked pumpkin”)
- 1.5 cans (12oz each) of evaporated milk
I had been researching online and talking to my baking relatives, so I used a few of the tips I found to adapt the basic recipe.
- I used half brown and half white sugar. Feedback at pickyourown.org said it adds flavor to the pie.
- I lightly whipped the eggs with a whisk prior to adding them. Read that somewhere, too.
- I used 1 can of evaporated milk and 6 ounces of half and half. My sister in law said they used half and half in their pumpkin pie, and that it made for a richer pie than evaporated milk. It also saves from opening the second can of evaporated milk only to use half of it.
- I added an extra smidgen of all the spices except the clove. Just cause I love cinnamon and ginger.
- I totally cheated on the crust and used frozen deep dish pie shells. Baby baking steps.
- The King Orchards pie pumpkin (that’s what we call them, some say sugar pumpkin) made lots of extra “goo,” so I went ahead and added oh… an extra few cups of pumpkin and maybe 1/4 cup more brown sugar to the filling. Figured the filling could take it, since it called for 4 eggs. Even after filling two deep dish pie shells, I had quite a lot of filling left over. More on that in a sec.
I filled the shells up to about 1/8 ” from the top of the shells, then followed the instructions for baking:
- Bake at 425 F (210 C ) for the first 15 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 350 F ( 175 C ) and bake another 45 to 60 minutes, until a clean knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
The result was quite possibly the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever had. It was spicy and creamy and rich, yet light at the same time.
It was so good that I bought some pre-made refrigerated pie crust over the weekend just so I could use the last 4 cups or so of leftover filling. We cut the crusts into about 3 1/4″ circles using the rim of a glass, then gently laid the rounds into muffin tins so they made 12 mini pie crusts. Filled each one to the top of the crust with a few tablespoons of filling, baked as above and Holy Cow! They were amazing. My husband enjoyed the pumpkin tarts even more than the traditional pie, and they were a huge hit at our family game night.
Wishing everyone a blessed holiday season; May your homes and your hearts be filled with warmth and laughter and love,
p.s. We have a small pile of pie pumpkins left in the market, so there’s still time to give this recipe a sample run. I’ve heard you can use squash too, and that it’s pretty darned delicious.