Saturday, November 17, 2007

Pumpkin Pie from Scratch

I'm not knocking canned pumpkin, and goodness knows I've used it many times before with excellent results, but in my book nothing can beat pie made from fresh pumpkin. If you can't get fresh pumpkin, or don't have time, canned will work just fine. This is James Beard's recipe.

1 medium Sugar Pie pumpkin (should yield 2 cups of flesh), or Butternut squash
3 eggs
1 C brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Ginger (I like to use fresh ginger, but powdered is fine)
Ground Cloves
1 to 1 1/2 C half and half, or evaporated milk
1/2 recipe pie crust (click for recipe)

Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and pulp. Place in a baking dish with enough water to cover halfway, and cover with foil. Roast in a 375 degree oven for about 30-45 minutes, or until the flesh is tender. Once cooled, scoop out the pumpkin flesh from the halves into a mixing bowl. Run a fork through it, or use a potato masher, to break up the pumpkin.*

Add the spices, sugar, cream and eggs, and whisk well. Pour the mixture into your pie crust, and bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 325 and bake for about 30 more minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

*If you want to make a little extra to save for another pie, you can use this technique and freeze the pumpkin flesh for later use.

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