Greetings from across the Internet! Halloween has come and gone, and all we’re left with is a mostly-full bag of mixed candy (we don’t get trick-or-treaters where we live) and a couple of monogrammed pumpkins.
“Monogrammed pumpkins? That sure sounds stuffy. Who do you think you are? The Queen of England?”
I promise I have a good reason for going knife-free this halloween, probably the best reason of all of the reasons one could have: I’m making pumpkin pie. (“Oh! I get it! Excellent idea!” You might find yourself saying in your head. And I’d agree with you.)
Excellent though this idea is, it appeared to be totally foreign to several people I talked to at a recent pumpkin-carving party. In their defense, it was a pumpkin carving party after all, not a “color-your-pumpkin-with-pastels” party. Nevertheless, I left the party feeling like the odd-one-out after having explained my case at least four times, and never feeling understood. “Instead of throwing the pumpkins away, we’re gonna eat them,” I’d explain, expecting people to know what the heck I was talking about. “Oh yeah. Pumpkin seeds are tasty! We roast ours, too!” One lady agreed. “Right,” I’d continue, “and the rest is getting made into pie. Pumpkin pie.”
The lady cocks her head to the side at me, while passing me a tiny orange carving knife. “Here, need this knife?”
I pause. “No, thank you. I’m just gonna finish coloring my pumpkin.” (WAS I NOT SPEAKING ENGLISH?)
Aaaanyway. Here I am now, at home, in front of something that always understands me: my computer. And, you know, in case I’m not the only person strange enough to want to eat a PIE instead of throw it away (basically), I figured I’d share my method with you. And, since we’re being truthful here, it’s not actually my method. It’s Martha Stewart’s method. (Aren’t they all?)
How ’bouts some pictures and instructions?
First thing’s first: I actually remembered to preheat my oven to 400 degrees. (Anyone else seem to always forget to preheat their oven until you’re ready to use it? Hate that.) Before I popped the two big guys in the oven, I wiped the pastel off with a paper towel. I s’pose if I wanted to be extra thorough I would have washed them again in soapy water. Nevertheless, after some wiping they’re as clean (cleaner, in fact!) than the day I bought them.
Then, using a paring knife, I put several slits into each pumpkin, to allow the steam to escape whilst roasting. To do this properly, make sure to stab the pumpkin all the way through to its hallow. And BE CAREFUL pulling that knife out. It gets really stuck in there, and if you wrench it out the wrong way you might hurt yourself.
Once your pumpkins are clean and slitted, put ’em in a baking dish, and add about an inch of water to the pan. Put the pan with the pumpkins in the oven for, like, an hour and fifteen minutes/an hour and a half. Basically, you want to be able to pierce the skin easily with a fork, and you want the flesh to be really soft.
Once they’re good and squishy, let them cool off a little before you move on. Then you’re gonna chop the tops off and scoop out the insides. (You may reserve the seeds for roasting if you like.)
Then peel off the skin and throw it away. (After tediously peeling the skin off of the first one with my fingers, I wised up and used a peeler on the second one. Peeling around the latitude–horizontally–is much easier than peeling up-and-down.) Put the squishy pumpkin flesh in a food processor and blend it until it’s good and smooth. No chunks. (Unless you like chunky pie, but that just sounds gross to me.)
You can store it in the fridge for a couple days, or in the freezer for a month or so. (Since I’m mostly on kiddo patrol, I’ve gotta do these things in baby steps, so it might take me three days to actually finish this pie.)
As I’m mostly on kiddo patrol, it might take me a few days to actually finish making the pie. I’ll continue to update this post as I progress through the pie-making process.
***Updated 4:30 PM, November 3***
The kiddo just started napping, so I took this time to divide up my pureed pumpkin, and pre-measure all of my dry ingredients (except the ground cloves because while I thought I had ground cloves it turns out that I have two large containers of whole cloves. Drat.) to save me time when I actually get to bake it. I ended up with 5 1/2 cups of pureed pumpkin, which is enough to make three pies (1 1/2 cups pumpkin per pie), and have 1 full cup of pureed pumpkin left over (I’d advise snacking on it yourself, or feeding it to a willing kiddo). And I only had enough brown sugar to pre-measure two-pie’s worth of dry ingredients (ARGH), but here’s what that looked like when I was through:
***Updated 11:15 PM, November 3***
Once the kiddo went to bed I got back to work on my pie. (What can I say? You can’t keep a lady with a sweet-tooth away from a pie for too long.) My superhero husband picked up ground cloves and more brown sugar on the way home, so there was nothing standing in my way! The next step was to blend my dry stuff with my wet stuff, here’s what that looked like: (little bowl = glaze for crust, big bowl = pumpkiny goodness)
Next, I unrolled my thawed pie-crust. It’s as easy as it sounds. Actually, I would suggest waiting until it completely thaws before unrolling it. Do it too soon, and you’re bound to put cracks in it. Like I did. Whoops. Anyway, even with the cracks, it didn’t turn out so bad. (And yes, the Kids’ Coppertone spray sunscreen is my secret ingredient. Thank me later.)
(KIDDING. Don’t eat the sunscreen.)
Then came the easy part: glaze the edge of the crust, pour the pumpkiny goodness into the shell, and bake it ’till it was good and solid (about an hour and ten minutes).
Woo Hoo! She might not be the prettiest pie on the block, but she sure is the tastiest. (Confession: I’ve eaten two pieces already.) This turned out WAY better than I had even imagined it would.
If you’re interested in trying it yourself, here’s the recipe I used: http://www.marthastewart.com/259353/pumpkin-pie
- 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 1/2 cups fresh Pumpkin Puree Pumpkin Puree, or canned
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten, plus 1 egg for glaze
- 1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
- Pate Brisee (Pie Dough) Pate Brisee (Pie Dough)
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, pumpkin puree, and 3 eggs. Beat well. Add evaporated milk, and combine. Set aside.
- Between two pieces of plastic wrap, roll pate brisee into a 12-inch circle. Fit pastry into a 9-inch glass pie plate; trim dough evenly along edge, leaving about a 1/2-inch overhang. Pinch to form a decorative edge. If the dough begins to soften, chill for 15 minutes.
- Make the glaze: Beat the remaining egg, and combine with heavy cream. Brush glaze very lightly on edges of pie shell. Fill pie shell with pumpkin mixture. Transfer to prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for 30 minutes more. Cool on a wire rack.
Holler so I know you’ve been here. Otherwise I feel like I’m talking to myself. Again.