Sunday, November 15, 2009

My, My... Pumpkin Pie

Never did make an apple pie when the Gravensteins were ready. The days just swirl by like the bright leaves falling from the trees. Right now I'm getting ready for big with family this week plus getting ready for clinic at work. It is unlikely that I'll find time to make a pie before Thanksgiving, and a dear friend is doing dessert, so no pie baking for me then, either. Instead, I made a pie today and rewarded Sweetie and Straight Shooter for replacing the tarp on the pump house roof, plus myself for all of the chores associated with becoming a temporary B&B.

Sparkle Plenty gifted me with a couple of lovely sugar pies, so pumpkin pie was the obvious choice, especially since I cooked the pumpkin flesh in the oven Friday.

A spin in the food processor turned it into a lovely golden puree. Mom's recipe for pie crust was tweaked just a bit by the substitution of whole wheat pastry flour for some of the regular flour. I used 2% evaporated milk and eggs, brown sugar and spices for the filling, along with that glorious fresh pumpkin.

The results were a delight. The filling was lighter in texture than it is when I use canned pumpkin and the pumpkin flavor was actually more subtle, so the spices were more forward. We all liked it better than the standard filling and the crust was just great!

If you are going to make this, the only tip I have is to allow enough time and to handle all of the crust ingredients lightly. It also helps to have the crust ingredients no warmer than room temp and colder is actually better. I keep my whole wheat flour in the fridge, so that cooled down the mixture nicely.

Hope you are enjoying the fall and looking forward to some fun, too, this week.

Fresh Sugar Pumpkin Pie with Whole Wheaten Crust

1 sugar pumpkin
2 large eggs
¾ cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
10 oz. evaporated milk or light cream
1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell (recipe below)

Pierce pumpkin with a sharp knife in a couple of places, then place on a baking sheet and bake in a 375 degree F. oven for about ½ hour to 45 minutes, or until the flesh is tender when pierced, although the shell of the pumpkin will be hard. Remove from oven and set aside to cool until cool enough to handle.

Using a sharp chef’s knife or cleaver, cut the pumpkin open and scoop away the seeds and stringy parts.

Discard seeds or use for another purpose. Discard stringy parts. Scoop the pumpkin flesh out of the shell and set aside to cool to room temperature. This can be done a day or two in advance of baking the pie. Put the pumpkin flesh in a cover container and refrigerate. Return to room temperature.

Prepare the pie shell as described below, or use a pre-made pie shell if desired.

In a mixing bowl beat the eggs slightly, then add the brown sugar and beat to combine. Add the salt and spices and combine well.

Take the pumpkin flesh and put into the bowl of a food processor. Process with the steel blade until a smooth puree develops. Measure out two cups. Reserve the rest for another use.

Add the prepared pumpkin puree to the egg mixture and combine then slowly add the evaporated milk or light cream. When blended, pour the filling into the unbaked pie shell (which has been placed on a baking sheet), making sure to leave at least ¼ inch of the sides unfilled to allow for expansion during baking. If you have remaining filling, you can bake it in a buttered ramekin or custard cup as a treat for the cook!

Place the cookie sheet with pie in a preheated 425 degree F. oven fore 15 minutes. Then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. and continue baking for another 40-50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack at least 45 minutes, up to 2 hours. Serve at once or refrigerate. Not a good idea to freeze this pie.

Whole Wheaten Pie Crust
based on Mom’s pie crust in Family Food
makes a 2 crust pie or two single crust pies…you only need one crust for the pie above

1 ¼ cup all-purpose unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup shortening
about 1 cup ice water, measured by tablespoons

Sift the flours and salt into a bowl. (If the wheat flour particles from the whole wheat flour won’t go through the sifter, dump them on top of the sifted flours and whisk the mixture with a wire whisk to combine all.)With a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut shortening into flour until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle the water, a tablespoon at a time, over the mixture, stirring gently with a fork until all flour is moistened (6-8 tablespoons usually). Press dough gently into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill before rolling out. (I cut the dough in half and wrapped into two discs to chill.)

If chilled as one ball, divide dough into two pieces. Roll out each piece until it is slightly larger than the pie tin. Fit into the pie tin and flute the edges for a pie shell. Makes one 2-crust pie or 2 9” pie shells.


  1. I have never eaten pumpkin pie before, I wish I could have a slice of this as my first try.

  2. One slice please.

  3. See, now you're just making us glad that we're coming home while pumpkins are still in season. That looks delicious, and we can't WAIT to get back to where pumpkins are available all the time!

  4. I find the flavor more subtle as well when I do fresh pumpkin. But oh so yummy. I especially love it for ice cream.