Gratitude, Pies, Blogs and life.

May everyone have a wonderful day! Happy Thanksgiving! 

Yesterday, I made two pies. One blueberry with a homemade crust and store bought pie filling. The second was a pumpkin pie made completely from scratch.  

I grew that pumpkin in my garden this past, 2009 summer. The weather  was cooler and wet, not congruous to growing  pumpkins.  I was surprised to see how well that pumpkin developed. I planted it late. It was the first of July, and out of three plants that grew only one had a pumpkin.

Just before Halloween I brought it in the house and set it near the fireplace. Even though its color was a bright orange it deepened into a darker orange in the house.

I’ve cooked up fresh pumpkin before. I boiled them, like potatoes. This time I decided to bake the pumpkin. I cut it in half.   That in itself was no easy feat. I used a large knife that I couldn’t pull it of out the pumpkin. I ended up using a smaller knife. 

 I didn’t mention the pumpkin was big. It was, very big. Its pulp was three inches thick.

 Once I cut it in half I scooped out the insides. I set the seeds on the side, some were dried in the oven with salt and the rest are waiting, in the garage for spring.

I rinsed off the first half and rubbed melted butter over the edges, placed it skin side up on a baking sheet. The pumpkin didn’t fit on any of my cookie sheets; it hung over the sides by three inches- on all sides. I did say this was a huge pumpkin.

I baked it in a 425 degree oven for two hours until it was soft. After the first hour I poked it to see if it was done.

Once it was soft and cooked. I cut it in four large pieces and scooped the pulp into a bowl to cool. I used my blender and puréed the chunks. I poured three to four cupfuls into freezer bags. I repeated the process with the second half.

I now have ten bags of pumpkin frozen.

Prepare one pie

Using two to four cups cooked pumpkin, your choice.

Mix in one can evaporated canned milk (12oz)

Put in ¾ cup granulated sugar-

Keep going and add ¼ teaspoon salt

Intermingle, Pumpkin pie spice, one tablespoon

Now add two eggs, and mix together until blended.

*Pour into a prepared pie crust….

2 ½ cups flour

¼ teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons sugar

12 tablespoons cold cubed butter

¼ cup cold, or ice water…

I found out years ago, that to make a hard crust I would need to touch it a lot with my hands. Working a pie crust, or touching it will make a bad crust.

Here’s what I do instead.  I used a plastic sandwich baggy. -You can use a sandwich bag, or a freezer bag. Not a grocery bag. – I put in all the ingredients, and then I sat down and watched TV as I kneaded the bag.

Once it was all incorporated, I opened the bag, and used a spatula to scrap the sides of the bag.

I had to take the dough out of the bag for a minute to mush it into a ball. I put it back in the bag and set it in the fridge for about fifteen minutes. 

On a floured surface I used lots of flour to prevent sticking. I rolled out the dough to about three inches wider than the pie pan. Using a spatula I folded it, as I lifted it off the board. Then I unfolded it into the pie pan.

 I baked the crust for about four minutes, just to start the baking process.

I filled the pie crust with the pumpkin mixture. I didn’t pour it all in the pie crust at once. I put the pie on a cookie sheet in the oven. Then I finished filling it.

* It’s very hard to lift a filled pie plate off the counter, and then carefully set it in the oven. 

I baked it, on the center rack, in a 425 degree oven for twenty minutes. Then I lowered the temperature to 350, and checked it in forty five minutes.

 To check if the pie was done, I stuck a knife in the center and it came out clean.

My pie cooked forty minutes longer than I anticipated, and I checked it every ten minutes. I also lowered the oven temperature to 325 for that extra time.  I didn’t want the crust to burn.

 I am very grateful that I was able to grow this beautiful pumpkin!

I am very grateful I was able to cook it up, and freeze more for the months ahead!  

I am very grateful for the help I had making the pie!  

I am very grateful I can cook!  I love pie.

I took pictures of the pumpkin, and at a later date I will post them on this Blog.

The picture shown is from ars photo library

http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/graphics/photos/oct05/d260-1.htm

7 thoughts on “Gratitude, Pies, Blogs and life.”

  1. I’m a little confused, you want a hard crust? From what I remember my mom telling me, the trick to a flakey crust (and hers were the flakiest I have ever known) was to coarsly cut the fat into the flour.

    I am not very good at making pie crusts (unless it is one of those made from crushed up cookies), so I either buy a ready made one or omit it completey and bake “crustless” pies. Works fine for pumpkin pie (although, without the crust, I should probably call it a pumpkin custard).

    I have never had any luck growing pumpkins – lots of leave, a few flowers, but no pumpkins.

    I’ve never baked pumpkin, my wife often uses various squashes in her soups – I prefer to either bake with them or use them as a vegetable (and then convince the kids to eat).

    1. Richard thanks for commenting. No I don’t want a hard crust; my ‘tongue in cheek’ humor didn’t come through. I stumbled over that section when I wrote it.
      I’ve cut the fat into the flour, but over work it. I do less damage when I can mix it in a plastic sandwich baggy.
      Gerardine Baugh

      1. Sorry, dry humour often gets missed (I should know, people complain mine is far too dry).

        You can have the book, if you like, just e-mail me an address or post office box and I will send you the copy (and, if you are reticent to do that, well, I understand because I would not give out contact information to someone I randomly met on the Internet)

  2. First of all, thank you for your comment on my blog. It was a hard one to write (kind of embarrassing) but if it happened to us, it could very well happen to someone else. Plus I kind of needed a little pick me up for the blogosphere ;o)

    Your pie looks DELICIOUS! Nice work! Good tip about the pie crusts. I always manage to make mine come out to thick or to dough-y. I have done a few that have turned out well, though.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
    *HUGS*

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