If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you know we have pumpkins growing in our garden.
We have used them for decorating, for carving and painting, for feeding chickens, and today we used one for pie.
We followed an Alton Brown recipe with our own tweaks along the way. The primary reason we chose this recipe was for the gingersnap crust.
We did have a big mishap in the beginning. We had picked a fresh but unripe pumpkin.
It was large and appeared to be ready to harvest, but upon cutting into it, we realized that it was still green in the middle and the seeds were not mature.
Good thing we had more sitting out for decorations. We tried this one.
It was well preserved and great to use. Most pie pumpkins are under 5 pounds. We grew Cinderella pumpkins, which average 20-30 pounds.
The suggested method of roasting pumpkin is to remove the stem, cut in half top to bottom, remove guts, sprinkle with salt, and roast flesh side down at 400°F for 40-50 minutes until soft.
However, with larger pumpkins, you may need to modify. we cut the pumpkin into 4 sections, cut a flat section so the pieces would sit level, and then roasted.
Fresh pumpkin is very wet. Spooning the flesh out of the cooled, roasted pumpkin is a messy job.
We were making this pie for Thanksgiving, so sweet potatoes were an easy thing to bake simultaneously.
After scraping the flesh off the skin, drain as much as of the liquid as possible. It will continue to make more liquid as it sits.
The food processor is truly the best way to purée your pumpkin.
You only need 2 cups of pumpkin for your pie. The rest can be frozen in ice cube trays or small freezer jars or freezer bags. Be sure to package it in 1/2 to 1 cup portions so you can easily use it for other baked goods.
Here is the recipe we used:
Alton recommends simmering the pumpkin purée to thicken it. It took mine 10-12 minutes to thicken, rather than 2-3. I assume that’s because I didn’t use a small pie pumpkin.
I love using the half and half rather than evaporated milk. This pie is much fresher tasting than one made with canned pumpkin as evaporated milk.
I did add pumpkin pie spice rather than just nutmeg. And I added a whole tablespoon – because I love pumpkin pie spices. 😊
The gingersnap crust soaked up liquid from the pie and made a much more hardy crust than I expected. It did not crumble like cheesecake crust, which is what I was expecting.
Remember to use farm fresh eggs if at all possible. They make such a difference in baked goods. And the chickens get bonus pay in the form of pumpkin scraps.
We love our pie with whipped cream. Again, fresh is best, if you have time to whip your own.