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Pumpkin Pie from Scratch for Thanksgiving

Pumkin pie from scratchMaking pumpkin pie ‘from scratch’ is a labor of love and takes time, but your taste buds will sure be thanking you! The pumpkin puree is made ahead of time, then the pie crust and finally, we combine the two for a delicious pie.

Fresh pumpkin tastes much better than its canned reincarnation, and it’s certainly healthier.

It’s not hard to make and when you consider that you can freeze some for later use, it is not only economical, but makes for good meal planning.

1. FROM PUMPKIN TO PUREE

There are different ways to go about cooking pumpkin: steaming, boiling, microwaving or roasting. We will address two methods: how to boil and how to roast. All you need to get started is your pumpkin and a set of tools depending on your preferred method.

A) Roasted Pumpkin Puree

Tools needed:
.cutting board
.sharp knife
.metal spoon
.2 large bowls
.baking pan
.hand blender or food processor

Preheat your oven to 350F.

Cut your pumpkin in half and using a metal spoon, scoop out all seeds and pulp. Make sure you save those seeds for roasting!

Cut into small pieces and place on your baking sheet. Transfer to your oven for about 1 hour (pumpkin should be fairly soft at this point).

Remove the skins and put the pumpkin in a bowl. Use a hand blender or food processor to puree until smooth.

If you want to freeze part of your puree, divide into whatever portion sizes you will need for your recipes and transfer into freezer bags. When ready to use, just thaw a bag in the refrigerator.

The balance of the puree should be strained for a few hours (discard the juices) which will help your pie crust from becoming soggy.

B) Boiled Pumpkin Puree

Tools needed:
.cutting board
.sharp knife
.large stock pot
.large bowl
.colander
.hand blender or food processor

First slice your pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Slice into smaller pieces and transfer to your stock pot.

Cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 40 minutes.

When the pumpkin has finished boiling, strain in a colander and let it cool. Some pumpkins have a high water content (Halloween pumpkins), so it may take a few hours for the excess liquid to drain.

Using your fingers, push the flesh away from the shell.

The easiest way to puree pumpkin is to use a hand blender or a food processor. A potato masher can also be used, finishing with a fork for a finer mash.

2. HANDMADE PIE CRUST

This recipe makes approximately two 9-inch bottom crusts which can be used for either sweet or savory pies.

Tools needed:
.large mixing bowl
.measuring cups
.measuring spoons
.pastry cutter
.foil

Supplies Needed:
.1 cup unsalted butter
.2 ½ cups flour
.1 tsp salt
.1 tsp sugar
.ice water (about 5-8 tablespoons)

A) Chill butter for one hour minimum

Cut butter into 1/2-inch cubes and store in your freezer for at least an hour. All your wet ingredients must be very cold before starting, otherwise your butter will melt during the crust making process.

B) Combine Ingredients

Once your butter is sufficiently chilled, take it out of the freezer and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Add 2 ½ cups of flour

Add salt and sugar

Mix butter and flour using the pulse mode of your food processor or a pastry cutter until it reaches coarse meal consistency.

Start adding water a tablespoon at a time until your dough starts to stick together. Keep processing until the dough is ready.

Once the dough starts to stick together, form it into two round mounds.

Wrap your dough in foil or plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour before using it.

3. PUMPKIN FILLING

Tools needed:
.large mixing bowl
.small bowl for eggs
.measuring cups
.measuring spoons
.whisk
.rolling pin
.9 inch pie plate

Supplies Needed (for one 9-inch pie):
.½ cup brown sugar
.½ cup sugar
.2 tsp cinnamon
.¼ tsp ground cloves
.¼ tsp nutmeg
.3 eggs, beaten
.1 can evaporated milk
.2 cups fresh pumpkin puree
.handmade pie crust (refrigerated)
.flour to prevent crust from sticking

A) Preheat oven to 425 F

B) Prepare Your Filling

Add the ½ cup of brown and white sugar to a large mixing bowl.

Add the 2 tsp cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon each of ground cloves and nutmeg.

Stir with a whisk until well combined.

Add 3 beaten eggs.

Whisk again until fully combined.

Add the puree and evaporated milk.

Whisk until fully combined.

C) Roll Your Crust

Take your handmade crust out of the refrigerator and let it sit for 5-10 minutes on a lightly floured surface.

With a rolling pin, roll the dough out for a 9-inch pie. A Silpat mat will help you roll the dough to the right size.

If your dough is sticking, add a little flour to your rolling surface.

Place the crust in your pie tin and shape it so it’s as even as possible all around.

D) Add Pie Filling

Once you’re happy with your crust, pour in the pie filling. Any left over can be used for a smaller pie or is wonderful served cold as a pudding with whipped cream and a sprinkling of nutmeg.

E) Bake

Place your pumpkin pie in a 425 F oven for 15 minutes.

Then reduce the heat to 350 F for another 50 minutes or so. Poke the center of your pie with a metal skewer. If the skewer comes out clean, your pie is ready.

Allow to cool for 2 hours.

Serve with freshly whipped cream with a hint of vanilla or brandy for a more festive twist.

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