Saturday, November 24, 2012

Fresh Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie isn't something I go bonkers over but will be a good test to determine if the puree from a roasted carving pumpkin is suitable for eating, a question a lot of websites say is okay and others say is closely an abomination. Having only ever used the stuff from a can, and fairly certain I've never had any pie made with fresh pumpkin, this was going to be interesting.

The original recipe included instructions on how to prepare puree from a sugar pumpkin and then use that puree in the pie, which made it a perfect choice for my carving pumpkin trial. Thinking about how much filling this would make I decided to go with the larger of my two pie plates, the 10" dish. I didn't want to have a pie plus leftover filling to use in tiny crustless pies using ramekins or custard cups I don't have. Based on a few of the comments, that was likely to happen if the suggested 9" regular-depth plate was used.

The recipe called for pumpkin pie spice; rather than buy one, I made one that a commenter at the site had provided which was super convenient since I had all of the components. The spice blend yields a little bit more than what was necessary, so I mixed it in a small bowl and measured out the quantity specified for the pie, discarding the small remainder.

Fresh Pumpkin Pie
adapted from All Recipes
click to print

10-inch single pie crust
2 eggs
1 c packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 c pumpkin puree
2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 (12-oz) can evaporated milk

Pumpkin Pie Spice (from Scubabear's comment)
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
3/8 tsp ground nutmeg
3/8 tsp ground allspice

Preheat oven to 450°F.

I whipped out a crust and lined a 9.5" (24 cm) pie plate which is 2" deep.

I'm now getting a hang of using a French pin - look how perfectly round that dough is! I cheated a little bit and rolled it out on top of a baking round, one I used for pizzacookies, or a boule, to get a perfect circle. And the Kirkland parchment paper is excellent for rolling pastry dough between - the stuff is wide so you don't have to worry that your dough will hang out.

In a large bowl, slightly beat eggs.

Add brown sugar, flour, salt, 2 cups of the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and evaporated milk. Stir well after each addition.

That puree sure is wet and the resulting batter is really loose. Sloshy is a suitable description.

The bowl needed to be scraped and the mixture stirred a little more to get a perfectly homogenous mixture.

Pour mixture into the unbaked pastry shell.

Perfect fit!

Bake 10 minutes at 450°F, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Bake an additional 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Pie baked 54 minutes total. Can you see the toothpick test hole? The results were clean.

Cool pie and refrigerate overnight for best flavor.

The pie looked really great! The crust turned out very nicely and didn't overbrown even though I skipped the option of covering it with foil. The puree was really watery compared to what is available in a can and still the filling set up extremely well in the time specified.

TOTAL: $2.44 or about $0.31 for each of eight big servings.

I took the pie to my brother's for our belated Thanksgiving and reviews were good. The crust received a glowing review! No one noticed a difference between the pumpkin in this pie and any other, so I think that's a testament to the fact that yes, you can easily substitute puree from a carving pumpkin in a pie recipe without any worries. I find this quite exciting since there are always leftover pumpkins at Halloween and now I know it's possible to save them from a wasteful demise. I'll definitely be looking at other recipes to see how else the remaining 10 cups of puree can be used. And certainly the other pumpkins hanging out in the apartment are going out as puree too.

I made another pie just like this one for the property manager of the apartment complex Friday, chilled it Saturday, and delivered it to her Sunday. Tonight she sent a text saying "...let me tell you that pie is sooooo gooood. My son just can't get enough of it. It's not sweet like the store bought one. You can taste pumpkin spice. Oh it's so's just delicious."