I mentioned in my last post that Olivia & I made pumpkin pies. We started by taking a couple of small pie pumpkins and cutting some slits in them simply by sticking a knife into each one a few times. Then we put them on a cookie sheet and roasted them in a 325 degree oven for a couple of hours. They’re done when you can stick the knife in and feel that the flesh is soft all the way through. Peel the skins off – I love this part! – then let the pumpkins cool. We left ours overnight.
The next morning we cut each one in half and scraped the seeds out. In retrospect I think we wouldn’t have had to do that. We could have just put the whole works into the food mill and let it sort out the undesirables. But we did, and then we just cut the pumpkin flesh into chunks and fed them through the food mill.
If you don’t have a food mill, then scrape the seeds out and run small pieces through a food processor or blender. If you do it this way you may have to add a bit of water to get a smooth consistency.
Then it was time to make the crust. We’re still learning how to make a good pie crust, but these didn’t turn out too bad. I’ve found that making the dough in the food processor works best for me – it keeps me from overworking the dough.
Then simply make the filling, using your pureed pumpkin, pour in the crusts and bake. Easy as…cake. (Ha! Thought I’d say “pie”, didn’t you?)
Olivia sporting her homebaked pie and her new glasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup cold butter or lard
1/4 cup ice water
Put flour & salt in food processor. Cut butter into chunks. Add 1 chunk at a time to food processor, and pulse a few times after adding each chunk. Add water and pulse until small crumbs form. At that point we gave it the “pinch test”. Pinch a little bit of dough together. If it feels too dry and doesn’t hold together, add another teaspoon of water, pulse a few times and then test again. Repeat until you have a dough that feels right. It should hold together but not be sticky. It’s one of those things you just kind of have to do a few times until you get a feel for it.
Roll dough, on floured board, into a circle about 1″ larger than your pie pan. Fold dough in half, lay into pie pan, then unfold and ease loosely into the pie pan. Don’t stretch it! Trim the excess dough from around the edge with a serrated knife.
The pie recipe we used is from my grandma’s Betty Crocker cookbook circa 1956:
Pumpkin Pie Filling
(for a 9″ pie)
1-3/4 c. mashed cooked pumpkin
1/2 t. salt
1-3/4 c. milk
2/3 c. brown sugar
2 T. granulated sugar
1-1/4 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ginger
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. cloves
Beat all ingredients together. Pour into pie crust. Bake 45 to 55 minutes at 425 degrees, or until a silver knife inserted 1 inch from the side of the filling comes out clean. The center may still look soft but will set later.
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