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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Fresh Pumpkin Pie ... a First for Me!

Several weeks ago we received a package from my husband's sister in Indiana.  In it was the jackpot... a 4 cup jar of freshly canned pumpkin puree!  I was so thrilled I could barely stand it.

Today, I began "the baking of the pie".  Fortunately, since I've never made a fresh pumpkin pie (only from packed canned pumpkin) my sister-in-law included a recipe.  I know my mother-in-law and she put up pumpkin together but I don't really know whose recipe this is.  I'll have to find that out!  Thank you to Ruth Hook Wiles and Kate Hook for sharing the fruits of your labor.  I pray I do it justice.

I do know, when I spoke to Kate last week, she said it was mandatory to use powdered milk in the recipe.  OK, I said, no problem - I keep that on hand in the event of hurricanes!  Here's the recipe that was included. 

Fresh Pumpkin Pie
Recipe from Ruth Hook Wiles and/or Kate Hook
(I'll update when I know the answer)

4 cups fresh pumpkin puree (you'll have to figure out that part yourself)
1 cup powdered milk
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon (I used Watkins Saigon Cinnamon - my fave!)

1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (my addition - I love nutmeg in pumpkin pie)

Mix all together. (How simple is that?)
Getting the sealed lid off the jar was the hardest part
of this recipe!

All ingredients poured in and mixer turned on...easy recipe!

I love "dump it in a bowl and mix" recipes!  This came together
just beautifully!!!

Make your own pie crust or buy the Pillsbury brand that you unroll.  Form the crust in the bottom of a DEEP dish pie pan (it's a lot of pumpkin).  Pour pumpkin mixture in the crust.  Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350 degrees for 50 minutes. 

I went the Pillsbury method...because I suck at pie crust.

I got some cute little Paula Deen pie crust cutters in preparation for the holidays...and I used the pumpkin cutter to make pieces from the extra roll of pie crust.  It made just enough to overlap and circle the pie. 

I filled the pie crust after getting all those pieces on, then gave it an egg wash.  After the first 15 minutes, it really needed a pie crust shield.  I made one out of aluminum foil.  Worked pretty good!  Unfortunately, the cut-out pumpkins didn't fare as well as last year's leaves did.  They hung over the edge too much.  You really can't even tell they are pumpkins once they are baked. Back to the leaves next year.  (I don't think Paula Deen really tried these out before she put her name on them...or maybe I missed some instructions somewhere)  Ever the optimist though, maybe I could still use them next year for the baked pumpkin cutouts as toppers for the whipped cream - those turned out okay! (baked on a baking sheet topped with silicone baking mat - egg wash, sprinkled with sanding sugar)
Little pie crust toppers for the whipped cream on the pie

I'm not a freak about raw eggs (I always sample my raw cookie dough before rolling and baking) so I sampled a bite of the filling.  Picture my eyes rolling back in my head.  I don't know how to identify what tastes specifically different...but it's sure better than any pumpkin pie I've ever made before!  Depth of flavor is the best way to describe it I guess.  In other words...fresh pumpkin matters! (Did you know Libby's canned pumpkin is actually a squash from the butternut family? A pumpkin is a squash, right?  I don't know why I brought it up.  Here's a link to a blog where it is explained in much better terms than I could provide.  I will say, I probably won't ever make my own fresh pumpkin pie again unless someone sends me their fresh whatever Libby's does, it works for me!

Okay - what do you do with your scraps of pie dough?  I did the cut-outs sprinkled with sugar, and then I had a little more left.  I noticed there was still some pie filling all over the sides of my mixing bowl because I didn't scrape... because I had filled my pan to where I felt comfortable (to avoid rising over the edge).  So, in the interest of waste-not-want-not,  I grabbed a mini muffin tin, pushed in enough dough to thinly line six muffin tin spaces...and I was able to scrape out enough filling to fill them to right below the edge of the dough...popped it in on the oven rack right under the pie for the final 15-20 minutes of baking...voila...tasty testers for me and the boys!

Hmmm...think I'll have one of those right now!  First there were six and now there are five!

I was going to save this post for Thanksgiving since I already posted one today...but what the heck.  Someone might NEED to read this post...or not.  By this time Thursday, I hope to have already had a big ol' slice of this pie topped with freshly whipped cream. The tester I had still warm from the oven was heavenly, so I have no doubt the big old pie is even better!  Happy Thanksgiving everyone...hope it's a wonderful day for you and your loved ones.

Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!

Update 11/28/2013 - post Thanksgiving dinner...
Quite possibly the best pumpkin pie I have ever eaten...absolutely delicious!


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