So anyway, onto less controversial matters. Huge shout-out to my BFF Hillary for advising me to make real pumpkin pie. Not only was it a super fun autumn activity for my toddler, but the final result is just heavenly. Especially if you think you don't like pumpkin pie... but you "give it another chance" every year wanting to like it since it's so traditional and classic... give this recipe a shot. Fresh roasted pumpkin tastes nothing like what you get out of can (and I did a side-by-side taste test of just the purees). If you enjoy baking and/or if you're out to fill your children's autumn with all the seasonal magic you can, this is a project worth doing.
|Autumn on your plate!|
First, you will need to get a 4-6 pound "sugar" or "baking" pumpkin. My son loooOOOoooved picking this out at the store, and we had gorgeous fall weather and foliage for our walk to and from.
|So much fun picking out a "sugar" pumpkin!|
Since you're going to all the trouble, might as well err on the big side. Leftover pumpkin puree freezes well and is great to have on hand. We used ours to make The Pioneer Woman's Moist Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting:
|Freeze the leftover puree and use it all season long in all your other favorite pumpkin recipes!|
|These are The Pioneer Woman's Moist Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting.|
But back to the pie story. I let the pumpkin "hang around" for a few days because it made such a great toy for my son. He carried it around everywhere, even slept with it at night. He'd try to get "tools" out and tell me he was "making his pumpkin pie." So fun.
When the time comes, you'll need to slice the pumpkin in half the long way, remove the seeds and pulp, and roast it. To roast, just sprinkle the flesh with kosher salt and put the halves flesh-down on some parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Roast at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until a paring knife can easily be inserted into and removed from the pumpkin, in various places. Let it cool until it's manageable (about an hour). Then scoop out the flesh and run it through a food processor. Voila: Your own home made roasted pumpkin puree!
|Slice in half the long way, and remove seeds and pulp.|
|You can also toast the pumpkin seeds, if you like.|
Picking the seeds out is really fun for kids, and will occupy them for awhile!
6 ounces gingrsnap cookies (I used about 1.5 cups of crumbs)
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp ground ginger (spice section)
4 tbsp melted butter
16 ounces of pumpkin puree (I used 2 cups)
1 cup cream (half and half)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
Whipped cream to top
For the crust, pulverize the cookies with either a food processor or a mortar and pestle. Add the sugar and ginger, either by whisk or in the same food processor. Whisk in butter. Press into pie dish. It's okay if it only covers the bottom - mine did. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the pumpkin puree in a saucepan. The recipe calls for simmering until it thickens but I didn't bother since my puree was fairly thick and not really simmerable. Add the cream, nutmeg, and salt and simmer a little more.
In a separate bowl whisk together the brown sugar, eggs, and egg yolk. Add the pumpkin/cream mixture slowly and whisk until combined. Pour into pie crust. It will be pretty runny.
Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until the sides are set but the middle still jiggles a little when shaken. I believe I baked for an hour. Remove and cool for at least 3 hours, or put right into the fridge.
*Homemade whipped cream can't be beat. If you're so inclined, all you do is put heavy whipping cream in your Kitchenaid blender and use the whisk attachment. Add a tsp or so of vanilla and powdered sugar to taste. Presto.