My little man spied a sugar pumpkin at the grocery store this morning and sweetly asked me if we could make a pumpkin pie today. How can I resist? As we got the weeks groceries, I talked with him about how to roast a pumpkin and what we needed for the pie. Normally, I would make a crust from scratch, but I only have one day off this week with a crazy workload so I took pity on myself and bought one. We got home and once the food was put away, I sat my boy on the counter and used my clever to halve the pumpkin. He was really excited to see the seeds, so I saved them for roasting once the pie was done.
I roasted my pumpkin for about 35 minutes. It was a small one, so if yours is bigger, you might need longer. Just stick a fork in it. When there is little resistance, it’s done. Cool it a bit on the counter so you can handle it, and scrap the flesh into a food processor. Your puree should be stiff, and silky. Water content can vary between the varieties. Do not worry if yours looks a little thinner or a bit watery, just put it in a fine mesh strainer or jelly bag and squeeze the water out until it looks stiff.
At this point, my man lost interest and didn’t want to help mix the filling together. The fact that he is interested at all in baking is pretty exciting for me, so I let him play with his legos while I mixed it together. My pumpkin wasn’t as smooth as I thought it was, so I poured it through a fine strainer as I filled the pies. Into the oven they go!
Now the trick will be letting them cool with out small hands dipping into them! When I was a kid, I was notorious for sampling the pies before dinner! A little bit of streusel here, a swipe there. I thought I was so clever, but my mom always knew and would scold me. We’ll see if it’s genetic!
While buying the crust rather than making it was a time/sanity saver, I never have liked the look of it. The stores supply of shells were all cracked in places. It didn’t look as bad as they turned out! Of well.
On a side note, my kitchen has TERRIBLE lighting. I have two windows at opposite ends and crappy overheads. You can practically see when there was sun and when it was raining. I hope you stick with me as I figure out how to overcome the challenges I face when photographing food!
16 ounces of fresh pumpkin puree (or one 15 ounce can, I won’t begrudge you)
1 cup sugar
2 ea eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon clove
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 ea 12 ounce can evaporated milk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Prepare your pie crust however you choose by either buying one, or making one. Preheat your oven 375 degrees. Whisk the pumpkin, eggs, sugar, spices and salt together until smooth. Stir in the milk and vanilla. If your pumpkin isn’t totally smooth, you can pour it through a fine strainer then into your pans. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until it jiggles like jello. It is ok if the center looks a little wet. There is some carry over cooking that happens, but the middle must jiggle and not slosh!
Hope you enjoy!