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Pumpkin pie

All done.

Fall is probably my favorite time of year. Making pumpkin pie is a sacred ritual. Cooks who I would have sworn knew better sometimes tell me that they make pumpkin pie with pumpkin-pie filling bought in a can. They probably buy frozen crusts, too. There is no excuse. Pumpkin pie must be made from scratch.

I always cook my pumpkin by baking it. It’s not a big deal. This is also the method that Irma Rombauer describes in The Joy of Cooking, 1943 edition. That’s my standard reference for traditional cooking, though I rarely follow her recipes exactly — rather, I use her concepts. Actually, I don’t think much of Rombauer’s pumpkin pie recipe. It produces what I would call pumpkin-flavored custard, because it contains less pumpkin and a cup of milk or cream. I prefer a more dense, pumpkiny pie. All I add to the pumpkin is a cup of sugar, a couple of eggs, and cinnamon and nutmeg.

Here’s the process.

Find a nice pumpkin. Next year I will grow some.

Cut it in half. Scoop out the seeds and pulp and give it to the chickens.

Put the pumpkin in a roasting pan and put it in the oven at 325 or 350 degrees.

By the way, I found this Williams Sonoma roasting pan at a local junk shop for $10.

In about two hours, the pumpkin will be tender. You’ll have clear liquid standing inside the pumpkin shells.

Scoop out the pumpkin flesh. You must remove the liquid, or your pie will be soggy. I squeeze it out while the pumpkin is in a bowl, but you can also use a collander. Save the liquid for soup stock.

Add the sugar, eggs and spices and pop the pie in the oven.

One Comment

  1. heidisthomas wrote:

    I *will* be making this pie! Thanks.

    Saturday, October 9, 2010 at 10:38 am | Permalink

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