We had a few decorative sugar pumpkins that were starting to look old so I decided to cut them up and see if I could use the pumpkin flesh. They are edible, after all. So while Eve ate her breakfast yesterday I grabbed a knife and cutting board and went at it. She was very concerned. “Ohh… the cute pumpkins. You’re hurting them!” She fussed for a few minutes while I continued to cut. Then she asked if we could make pumpkin pie. Sure, I said. Fussing over. She happily watched as I cut the three little pumpkins into chunks and stuck them in the oven.
While the pumpkin cooked Eve and I made my all-time favorite cream cheese pie crust from the Joy of Cooking.
My oven isn’t great (as you’ve heard) so these cooked and cooked and cooked, but eventually I had to take them out so Eve and I could get on with our day. They were probably 80% done. I left them on the counter all day until we got home from school. When the kids were settled with their movie (sick afternoon, remember?) I went back to the pumpkins. I was able to get the flesh out, but it was still too hard to easily puree. So I stuck it in the microwave.
This is when I discovered that the microwave had finally bit the dust. It turns on, lights up, makes all the right noises, but doesn’t actually get hot. After 15 minutes of cooking this pumpkin puree and only having it get cooler and cooler I decided to give up on that effort. I dug out the blender. No good. I don’t know if blenders are not meant for pureeing pumpkin or if mine is just old and lame or what, but the blender did nothing. So I went back to the immersion blender (my original tool) and put some muscle into it.
Eventually I got the puree smooth enough for my standards and I was finally able to start making the pie! By this time the movie was almost over! I used a recipe from King Arthur Flour called Smooth and Spicy Pumpkin Pie. You really can’t go wrong with a recipe from KAF. The rest of the process went smoothly and I got a beautiful (by my standards!) pie.
By the time it came out of the oven it was nearly 9:00pm, so we decided to let it cool and have pumpkin pie for breakfast.
The verdict? Pretty good pie. The whole time I was dealing with the pumpkin puree I kept saying that I would never again make pumpkin pie from scratch. It’s just not worth the effort. I had half a blog post written in my head about it. But…. the three pumpkins yielded me enough puree to make three pies… or something else. The pie came out pretty good except the crust bottom was a bit undercooked (should have prebaked the shell a bit) and the filling was a bit overcooked (I was mistakenly doing the “knife test” in the middle instead of the recommended 1″ from the edge) so now I’m thinking about making another one. I have the puree all ready in the freezer. I’ll have to do something with it! :) Anyone want some fresh pumpkin pie?