Lately, I’ve been reviewing our winter and summer squash at my job, SmartGardener.com, After looking at 20 varieties of winter squash, I learned that store-bought pumpkin pie puree isn’t made from pumpkins! The common replacement is Butternut Squash, Pumpkin’s sweeter and less stringy Cucurbit cousin. That information blew my mind–does it blow yours? Re-read that, let it sink in. Pumpkin Pie Puree is made from Butternut Squash, not Pumpkins.
So what better of a reason to cut up my Casper pumpkin–from the Divisadero Farmers Market in September–and make a pie out of it? A real, honest-to-goodness pumpkin pie.
Oh, and since I’m on a personal mission to make my own crust, the following recipe will tell you how to make it all from scratch. If you’d rather not make crust (time-consuming, but worth it!) replace it with any other 9″ pre-made crust–although that packaging is not sustainable. ;)
Real Pumpkin Pie
Divisadero Farmers Market
1 medium sugar pumpkin
4 eggs, lightly beaten
Pantry (Rainbow Co-Op Grocery)
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 cup pastry flour (can be substituted with any white flour you have)
1 cup honey
1 tbsp cooking oil (vegetable/olive)
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp & 1 tbsp sugar
Dairy (Clover Stornetta / Straus)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup milk, and
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, OR
1 cup half-and-half
1. (in advance) Cut up 1/2 cup butter into 1″ pieces, re-wrap, and place in freezer for an hour.
2. Set your oven to 325F.
3. Cut your pumpkin in half. Remove the seed, wash, and set aside. Drizzle inside and cut part with oil. Place into the oven until can be easily stabbed with a knife in 5-6 parts of the pumpkin, roughly 20-30 min. Do not under-cook, it will just make your life hell.
4. In a food processor pulse together:
— 1 1/4 cup flour
— 1/2 tsp salt
— 1 tsp sugar
5. Add in your cut up pieces of cold butter and pulse again until it resembles coarse meal with little pea-shaped butter balls.
6. Add ice to cold water and tablespoon at a time add 6-8 tbsp ice water. I do my first three off the bat, pulse, touch it, add one more, pulse, touch it… You want it to stick together when you pinch it with your fingers.
7. Remove dough from food processor and roll into a ball. Parchment paper helps contain the mess. Pat the ball with flour, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate, at least one hour. Time Saver: Can be made in advance and refrigerated for 2 days.
8. Once you can pierce the pumpkin and the flesh feels soft enough to mash, remove from the oven. Allow 5-10 minutes to cool before scooping out contents.
9. Turn temperature for oven up to 400F. While waiting, drizzle olive oil over rinsed and dried pumpkin seeds, sprinkle with ~2 tbsp sugar and ~1 tsp cinnamon. Put in the oven until lightly browned, ~5-10 min.
10. Scoop pumpkin contents out of pumpkin. Mash–either with a potato masher, or a food processor. I started with the former and quickly switched to the latter. It’s significantly easier.
11. Your seeds are probably done now, too. Keep the oven at 400F.
12. In a bowl, blend:
— 2 cups pumpkin puree
–1/2 tsp ground ginger
–1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
–1 tsp salt
13. Mix in:
–4 eggs, lightly whisked
–1 cup honey, slightly warmed
–1/2 cup milk & 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream OR 1 cup half-and-half
14. Give yourself a break. Sit down, chill, maybe open up a bottle of beer or wine. You probably haven’t reached 1 hour for your crust…unless it’s pre-made,
15. Take crust out of refrigerator. Allow 5-10 minutes to warm up a little.
16. Sprinkle your surface with flour to prevent sticking. Roll out the disc into a circle with a 12″ diameter (I use a piece of paper long ways to measure 11″ and add 1″ to it). I prefer parchment paper for this, because your next step of getting it off your surface will be easier. Pick up, and flip over into a pre-greased pie pan. Flute the edges to look cool.
17. Pour in your pie filling.
It will probably seem really runny, and not able to become a pie. Don’t worry.
18. Bake (400F, still) for 50-55 minutes, until a knife inserted 1″ from the edge of the pie comes out clean. Allow to cool–or put in fridge/freezer to speed the cooling process up. It will look puffy, like a souffle, but that will go down as it cools.
WHIPPED CREAM TOPPING, OPTIONAL:
While waiting for it to cool, you can make your own whipped cream with heavy whipping cream, vanilla and sugar. I never measure, think of it as this: your heavy whipping cream will increase the size, your vanilla will add the flavor, your sugar will add the sweetness. Measure to your likings or needs.
The seeds are just a great snack to have while making the pumpkin, or save them and use to top the slices.