Pumpkins are amazing. They’re beautiful, have a long shelf life, and most importantly, they can become pie. I try to pretend that pumpkin pie is at least moderately healthy since it’s made out of a squash-like fruit (naturally ignoring the fact that this fruit sits on top of a buttery crust and is topped with heaping dollops of whipped cream). Pumpkin pie is also among the easiest to make if you use canned pumpkin and a ready-made pie crust. Though I normally make it this way for Thanksgiving since I would be insane to attempt anything more elaborate while making all of the other desserts that the holiday entails, I do enjoy using fresh pumpkin when I have the time.
So, today, I peeled, seeded, and cubed a sugar pumpkin that I picked off the vine* at Hank’s Pumpkintown out east. This is the most time consuming part of making pumpkin pie from scratch; pumpkins are relatively easy to peel (using a knife, not a vegetable peeler), but they can be tough to cut through. After steaming the pumpkin, I put it in the food processor, which you will notice in the following picture, has been in my family since formica countertops were in vogue.
I also made the crust from scratch using Martha Stewart’s pie crust recipe, which can be found on her website: http://www.marthastewart.com/344292/our-favorite-pie-crust … This was my first attempt at truly crimping the crust; please forgive any glaring crimping errors. The original recipe for the pie filling hails from Libby’s, the brand of canned pumpkin that my family always uses. I altered it slightly to omit cloves and include nutmeg. I also used a little of the extra pie crust to make a jack-o-lantern face, which I put on top of the pie about halfway through baking.
Original Recipe: https://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/18470/libbys-famous-pumpkin-pie/
*full disclosure, my friend Sam kicked it off the vine for me… did you know that pumpkin vines are super prickly??
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Scant 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 large eggs
15 oz. pumpkin puree (a little less than 2 cups)
1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk
1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie shell
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and nutmeg in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
Pour filling into pie shell.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees; bake for 20 minutes or until slightly firm, then apply jack-o-lantern face to the center of the pie. Continue baking for another 20-30 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving (unless you don’t like whipped cream, in which case I DON’T UNDERSTAND YOUR LIFESTYLE).