Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Melissa’s (Made from Scratch) Pumpkin Pie

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This is my recipe for pumpkin pie made with fresh pumpkin (not canned – although you could use it). This is a great way to use up those last few pumpkins or other winter squash left from your fall harvest. I’ve adapted this recipe from my Fannie Farmer and Sue Gregg cookbooks to suit our needs and tastes. I use only natural ingredients (mostly organic). Yes, I use real butter. But honestly, you need some good quality animal fat in your diet. No chemical laden butter substitutes allowed in my kitchen. I trust cows over chemists.

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The easiest way to prepare pumpkin flesh is to cut it in half, scoop out all the seeds and stringy stuff, and then cut it into wedges. My pumpkin was small, so quartering it worked for me. (Be sure to save those seeds for roasting alongside the pumpkin! You’ll just need to keep a close eye on those, as they burn easily and are often ready before the pumpkin is fully cooked. They’re delicious lightly salted.) I bake my pumpkin at 375 degrees for about 30-40 minutes. It depends on the size of your pumpkin.

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While the pumpkin is cooking I gather all of my ingredients (recipe at bottom). Just look at those gorgeous fresh organic eggs! If you look closely, the one on the far left is blue-ish in color. It comes from an Araucana chicken, also known as an Easter Egger. My kids think those are the coolest!

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When the pumpkin is tender, you’ll be able to scrape it from the skin using a spoon. I usually put my butter on the warm (not hot) baking sheet to soften.

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It’s nice to have a helper in the kitchen. I always have help with the baking. Today, Daniel joined me. We had such fun! He is an expert pumpkin masher.

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While he mashed the pumpkin, I measured my ingredients.

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You can use honey in this recipe, but if you have sorghum, that’s the way to go. It’s rich and thick, similar to molasses. I bake with it often.

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After I have my pumpkin pie filling mixed, I start on my crust. I cut in my butter using an old fashioned nut chopper, but you can also use a fork or two knives. I’ve never owned a pastry cutter.

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If you end up with more filling than will fit in your pie crust (it’s hard to find the exact size pumpkin you need!), no worries. Pour into ramekins and serve as pumpkin pudding. Daniel actually prefers the pudding. The small dishes will bake up more quickly, so keep a check on those.

Melissa’s Pumpkin Pie

2 c. cooked and mashed pumpkin flesh

3/4 c. organic whole milk (if you use store- bought canned pumpkin, you will need 1/2 c. extra milk)

4 eggs

1/2 c. sorghum or honey

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Mix all ingredients thoroughly. You can use a blender for this if you desire a perfectly smooth pumpkin pie. I mix mine by hand because I love the texture of fresh pumpkin. Pour pumpkin mixture into pie crust (and extra ramekins if necessary) and bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes or until set.

9 inch Pie Crust

1 1/2  c. unbleached naturally white all purpose flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 c. butter

6-7 Tbsp. cold water

Blend flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. I use an old fashioned nut chopper, but you could use a fork or two knives. I’ve never owned (or needed) an actual pastry cutter. Add just enough water to get the dough to form a ball. Begin mixing with a fork, and then incorporate all of the flour using your hands. Form dough into a ball and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out dough until it will cover your pie plate. Gently roll crust onto rolling pin so that it will transfer easily to the pie plate (I prefer stoneware). Trim the edges and crimp if you like.

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It’s equally good fresh from the oven as it is from the refrigerator. (Refrigerate any leftovers.) Enjoy!


Berit said...

This looks too good, Melissa!

I just love pumpkin anything! Have you tried Kabocha (a Japanese pumpkin/gourd)? I LOVE it oven roasted with a bit of oil, garlic, and feta.

As for butter, I recently decided to see what's up with those european imported butters--I tried the Danish Lurpak. *Not* cheap, but, SO worth it. I mean really, really worth it. If you've got it in your area (I think I remember seeing it in Oklahoma, at least.), please give it a try! It's about 3 dollars for half a pound, but so wonderful!

melissa sews said...

Berit, I haven't ever had Kabocha. It sounds good! And so does that butter of yours. I'll be on the lookout for it the next time I go grocery shopping. Lately, I've been making my own butter from heavy organic cream. So good. And the buttermilk comes in handy for baking, too.

Ann said...

There's nothing nicer than a home made pie!

I don't use a pastry cutter, I use my hands to rub in the butter, that is unless I use my food processor :>) I didn't know there was such a thing.