Cooking up Pumpkin – Classic Pumpkin Pie

To complete my weekend trilogy homily to the Pumpkin I close with a classic recipe for Pumpkin Pie.  The wondrous thing about Pumpkins, whatever their size, is the will provide you with a goodly amount of pumpkin purée, and with very little effort.  Sure, you can buy pumpkin in a can (in the States), but there is no comparison in taste.  For very little work you can easily make your own purée and freeze in readiness for use throughout winter.

Take your pumpkin and cut it in half. Discard the stem section and stringy pulp. Save the seeds to roast and eat. (See yesterday’s post.) In a shallow baking dish or tray, place the two halves face down and cover with foil. Bake in a preheated 375F / 190C oven for about 1 1/2 hours until tender. (As pumpkin sizes vary, check now and then.) Remove the pumpkin from the oven and let cool. Scoop out the flesh and purée or mash it. If you would like it really smooth, press the purée through a sieve.

And for those who have never tasted Pumpkin Pie you are in for a true treat. Think of a flan and then add lots more flavour. Delicious, and definitely worth trying. PS: Don’t skimp on the spices.

For my other recipes, here are the links to my favourites: Spicy Pumpkin and Apple Chutney, Thai Pumpkin Soup and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.

Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie (a recipe from Simply Recipes)

Ingredients:

2 cups of pumpkin pulp puree from a sugar pumpkin* or from canned pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cup heavy cream or 1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs plus the yolk of a third egg
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
1 good crust (see pie base recipe)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425°F / 215 C.
Mix sugars, salt, and spices, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Beat the eggs and add to the bowl. Stir in the pumpkin puree. Stir in cream. Whisk all together until well incorporated.
Pour into pie shell and bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes reduce the temperature to 350°F. Bake 40-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours. Note that the pumpkin pie will come out of the oven all puffed up (from the leavening of the eggs), and will deflate as it cools.
Serve with whipped cream.

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