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