Pumpkin Pie

November 3, 2011

Cooking

Every family in North America has a recipe for pumpkin pie.  According to my neighbour, not so much in Romania.  I sent her a pie the other day.  Good thing she ate it before I told her what was in it.  In her part of the country, pumpkins are used as cattle feed.  Seems like a waste to me.

Here’s how my family’s version goes down.  Did you know you can use squash in place of pumpkin?  Yes, you can!  A pumpkin is a type of squash.  True confession:  I use canned pumpkin (which may in fact be squash in disguise) instead of cooking up my own.  In fact, I recently found giant, commercial size cans on sale.  When I open a can, I divvy up the rest into 1 1/2 cup portions and freeze it in my best Dutch Tupperware.  Savings and convenience all over!

Everything can just be dumped into a large measuring cup or bowl at once.  Now, for the secret weapon.

The hand blender!  Or the immersion blender or whatever you would like to call it in your neck of the woods.  This will not only mix your pie filling, it will ensure a consistent, smooth texture.

You will end up with a super smooth mixture, something like this.  The depth of colour will vary, depending on the type of milk or cream you use.  The heavier the cream, the lighter the colour.

This will fill two frozen, deep dish pie shells.  If you use a homemade crust and/or a really deep dish pie crust, it will take considerably longer to bake.  In that case, you will need to cover the crust with a shield or tin foil to keep it from burning.

Bake until cracks begin to appear around the edges.  It may still be a tad jiggly in the middle, but it will solidify as it cools.

This works equally well in tarts or just baked in ramekins as custard.  For me, the only way to serve pumpkin pie is with buckwheat honey.  There are crazy people who like to serve it with things like whipped cream or ice cream or other stuff, but we really don’t associate with them much.

 

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