Friday, November 23, 2012

Totally From Scratch Pumpkin Pie!

John and Girl 1 love pumpkin pie.  I could take it or leave it.  But, I thought it would be fun to try to put one together for them to enjoy this Thanksgiving.  Plus, the kiddos were out of school Wednesday, so I knew I'd have all the help I needed.   
So, we started out with the pumpkin we'd had as part of our fall decorations and 3 separate recipes -- crust, filling, and whipped cream.

We started with the most awesome part, cleaning out the pumpkin goop!  Of course, we set aside the seeds for roasting.  The chickens got the goop and loved it!

Once cleaned out, we sliced the pumpkin into pieces* small enough to fit into my steamer basket and steamed until soft (about 20 minutes).  Once cool, I placed the skin side in the palm of my hand and spooned the pulp into the food processor.  We processed until smooth and separated our puree into 2 separate 2 cup portions, enough to make 2 pies.  (If you don't want to make 2 pies, freeze the extra 2 c. for later use.)

(*"sliced the pumpkin into pieces" does not really accurately describe what it looked like when I did this.  The pumpkin was TOUGH!  I'm pretty lucky to still have all my fingers and not to have taught the girls some new words during the whole slicing process.)

For the filling, combine all of the following:
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
2 c. pumpkin puree
3 eggs
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Girl 2 was my right-hand gal.  She even washed dishes!

All 3 kiddos were excited about the roasted seeds.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that my homemade crust was a flop.  All was going smoothly until I tried to roll it up off the countertop and lay it in the pie pan.  It basically just crumbled up.  I was able to piece it together in the pan for one pie (because I was really hoping to have a completely homemade one), but I used a Pillsbury roll-out crust for the 2nd one.

Anyone have a great homemade crust recipe you'd like to share with me for next year?

We filled our crusts with pie filling and baked at 350 for FOREVER!  The recipe said 50 to 60 minutes or until a knife comes out clean in the center.  I think we baked for nearly 2 hours!  Because we had covered the crusts with a crust shield and foil, they didn't burn during this crazy long baking time.

HOWEVER . . . since I only had one crust shield, I tried to fashion one with foil for the other pie.  Apparently I didn't do so great a job.  I must have mashed down part of the crust, allowing the filling to spill out all over the baking sheet they were resting on.  See the pool of black they're sitting in?  Yep, that's the burnt pie filling that spilled out.  Bright side -- at least I set them on a pan and didn't have to spend the rest of the afternoon cleaning out the oven.

Here's a close up of where it spilled over the mashed-down crust.

On Thursday, just after we ran our morning 5K (the girls' first) and just before we headed to PawPaw's house for Thanksgiving dinner, we whipped up the homemade whipped cream to go on top.  We'd stored our mixing bowl and whisk in the freezer overnight so that they'd be very cold.  We added 1 1/2 c. heavy cream, 1 1/2 Tbs. sugar, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla to the bowl.

1.  Beat on low until small bubbles form, about 30 seconds.
2.  Increase to medium speed and continue beating until beaters leave a trail, about another 30 seconds.
3.  Increase speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form and it's nearly doubled in volume.
4.  Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to 8 hours.

I think it turned out great!  The homemade cream was amazing and surprisingly simple.  Making the entire thing from scratch definitely took some time.  But, being able to make the pie the day before and just whip up the cream before serving made it doable.

Oh, before you go, don't forget to respond to Thursday's post by tomorrow in order to be entered into the drawing for the Thankfulness Journal. ;)

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