In the stores around the holiday season, I notice towers of pumpkin pie filling – ready to be poured into a frozen pie crust (in another aisle). Voila – a homemade pie! Hmmm … not really. To make a pumpkin pie the way they are supposed to taste does not involve opening a can of pie filling.
1. Make a pie crust (vegetable shortening, flour, a dash of salt and some water). If you are new to making your own pie crust, they are very forgiving … just don’t over work the dough with your hands. (Lots of easy recipes you can find through a web search.)
2. Halve and remove the seeds of a sugar pumpkin. (They look like the pumpkins carved for Halloween but are much smaller – 6 to 8 in. in diameter.) Place cut side down on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and cook about 325-350 degrees until the tines of a fork slide easily through the skin into the flesh (about 30-40 minutes).
3. When the flesh of the pumpkin is cool, scoop out into a bowl and puree (I use a handheld immersion blender). Add 1 can (12 fl. oz) of evaporated milk (I use fat free), 2 eggs, 1 c. brown sugar, 1 T flour, 2 T of pumpkin pie spice (adjust the proportion of the ingredients to your taste: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and a dash of cardamon).
4. Pour pie filling into the pie crust. Cover the edge of the crust with foil (removing only for the last 20 or so minutes). Bake 450 for 10 minutes, then 350 for 40-50 minutes. (A knife slide into the middle should come out clean.)
Easy! The hardest part is halving the sugar pumpkin.
Adjustable! If you don’t have brown sugar, substitute 1 c. white sugar with 2-3 T. of dark molasses. If you want a creamier, richer filling, don’t use fat free evaporated milk, use whole cream, or add an extra egg yolk.
Yup, the man is a fan of my pies.