How to make pumpkin pie from scratch
(This is a perennial favorite and I share it every year. I hope your family enjoys the holidays.)
My favorite pumpkin/squash this year is the two to three pound cheddar pumpkin I found at a local farm stand. Shaped like a pumpkin but the color of a butternut squash the flesh is bright orange, dense and sweet. Just right for a pumpkin pie.
- Put the washed and dried pumpkin on a sturdy cutting board. With a large, sharp knife cut through one side. (If the rind is very thick or hard you may need to tap the back side of the knife with a wooden or rubber mallet. I saw this tip on a TV cooking program. It’s an easy, safe way to deal with such a large vegetable.)Cut the pumpkin into large slices, about three inches wide. Scrape out the inside fiber and seeds with a large soup spoon. (Save the seeds to toast later for a nutritious snack.)
- Place the pumpkin chunks into a roasting pan. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for one hour at 350 degrees.
- Cool and scrape the cooked flesh from the skin of the vegetable.
You now have cooked pumpkin ready to use in your favorite pumpkin pie (or bread, or cake, or muffin, etc.) recipe. If there is too much to use right away, freeze it in recipe-sized portions. Cooked pulp freezes well.
This method works well with all winter squashes, with equally tasty results.
A small four pound pumpkin will yield about 2 cups of cooked flesh, just the right amount for my favorite pie recipe . . .
2 cups cooked pumpkin or winter squash flesh
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon tapioca
½ teaspoon salt
1 can evaporated skim milk
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves)
2 large eggs, or ½ cup liquid egg white product
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
Combine the pumpkin and milk in the food processor and blend until smooth. Add sugar, tapioca, salt, spices, and eggs. Process until well-mixed. Pour into the pie shell. Bake at 400 degrees until a knife inserted in the center of pie comes out clean, about 45 to 55 minutes.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!