Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pumpkin Pie from Scratch

Kid Rating:  2 out of 3 liked it (my oldest never was a pumpkin pie fan and didn't try it)
Do again?  Yes, but I would bake and puree the pumpkin in advance
Isn't it pretty?  (Photo was taken by my 5 year old).
It was a gift to my parents from their friend.
The little pumpkins are from our garden.
The leaves are from our yard.
This recipe is a hybrid from two different recipes:  one from Betty Crocker's Cookbook (1986) which calls for canned pumpkin and the other from The Settlement Cook Book (1931) which is vague and dated in some areas (I love this old book!  I'll do a post about just this book sometime).

1.  Bake the pumpkin
a.  Pre-heat 350 degrees F
b.  Wash and cut in half, crosswise
c.  Scrape out seeds and stringy parts.
d.  Place in shallow pan, shell side up
e.  Bake until it begins to fall in and is tender -- for this size, it baked for 1 hr 40 min.

2.  Puree pumpkin (how I did it -- there may be an easier way)
a.  Cut off burned edges.
b.  Scrape out pulp or cut away skins from pulp.
c.  Mash pulp in bowl.
d.  Resolve to save up for a food processor.
e.  In the mean time, puree pulp a small amount at a time in the blender.  DO NOT ADD LIQUID.

I put foil on stem to keep from burning.

Clockwise from left:  baked pumpkin, mashed pumpkin,
pureed pumpkin, the needed 1 1/2 cups.
I put 1 1/2 cups worth of pumpkin in bags to freeze.
Each HALF of this pumpkin yielded 6 cups of puree,
which is enough for 4 pies.
9 inch pie plate lined with plain pastry dough (recipe on bottom)
Pre-heat 450 degrees F
Mix in this order:
1 1/2 cups pureed pumpkin (which equals 16 oz -- about the size of canned)
1/4 cup sugar syrup (recipe on bottom) or store-bought corn syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp cloves
1 can evaporated milk (15 oz of milk should be okay, too)

Put pastry-lined pie pan on oven rack.  Pour pumpkin filling into pie pan. (Pouring after helps reduce carrying, balancing, and potentially spilling the liquidy product).
Bake @ 450 degrees for 15 minutes, then
Bake @ 350 degrees for 45 minutes (until knife inserted in the center will come out clean).

450 degrees F for 15 min
350 degrees F for 45 min

Family Review:  All (but Thomas) really liked it.  Some said it was better than store-bought.

Sugar Syrup (A substitute for corn syrup)
2 cups of sugar
3/4 cups of water
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
dash of salt

Put all into a sauce pan and boil.  Reduce heat to simmer.
Cover for 3 minutes (removes crystals from side of pan).
Uncover and cook until the "soft ball" stage, which I never got to but stopped after 20 minutes, stirring often.
{Cool and store at room temp up to 2 months}

Plain Pastry  (I was also making a pecan pie.  This recipe is supposed to make two pastries, but I found that I didn't have enough for the deep dish and had to improvise.  This is what I started with, though).
1 1/2 cups of flour (I had 1 cup white and 1/2 cup whole wheat)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Mix those together.
Work 1/3 to 1/2 cup of butter into the flour with fork, pastry blender or finger tips -- lightly, the less handled the better.
Add 1/4 cup cold water very slowly, enough to hold dough together (do not knead).
Divide into halves.
I didn't roll it out but instead pressed it directly into the pie pan with my fingers and smoothed it with a special pie pan roller.

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