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Pumpkin Pie from Scratch for Thanksgiving

Pumkin pie from scratchMaking pumpkin pie from a pumpkin is a labor of love. It takes time, but fresh pumpkin tastes better and is healthier than its canned version.

Pumpkin puree from scratch is not hard to make; it’s also economical considering that frozen pumpkin is great for meal planning!

Here we make our pumpkin pie puree ahead of time, then the crust and finally combine the two for a delicious pie.

1. Pumpkin Pie Puree 3 Ways

Cooking pumpkin can be accomplished using different methods: steaming, roasting, boiling or microwaving. We will address the three healthiest methods: how to pressure steam, roast and boil. All you need to get started is your pumpkin and a set of tools depending on your preferred method:

a) Instant Pot Steamed Pumpkin

Tools needed: Instant Pot steamer basket or steel bowl on a steam rack

Instant Pot pumpkin steaming results in maximal preservation of vitamins and minerals as well as natural color. Using the Steam function, cook your fresh pumpkin for 4-5 minutes (small pieces), or 8-10 minutes (large pieces). Frozen pieces should cook for 6-7 minutes (small) or 10-14 minutes (large).

b) Roasted Pumpkin

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

1. Preheat your oven to 350F;
2. Cut your pumpkin in half; using a metal spoon, scoop out all seeds and pulp – making sure you reserve those seeds for roasting;
3. Cut into small pieces and place on your baking sheet; transfer to your oven for about 1 hour until pumpkin is fairly soft;
4. Remove skins and transfer pumpkin to a bowl; puree until smooth using a hand blender or food processor;
5. Set aside the portion of pumpkin puree you will be using for this recipe and strain for a few hours to help keep your pie crust from becoming soggy;
6. Divide the balance of the puree into portion sizes for later use and freeze until ready to use.

c) Boiled Pumpkin

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

1. Slice your pumpkin in half and scoop out seeds and pulp; slice into smaller pieces and transfer to your stock pot;
2. Cover with water; bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 40 minutes;
3. When pumpkin has finished boiling, strain in a colander and let cool (may take a few hours);
4. Use your fingers to push the flesh away from the shell;
5. Puree using a hand blender or food processor.

2. Make Pie Crust (two 9″ bottom crusts)

.1 cup unsalted butter, chilled
.2½ cups flour
.1 tsp salt
.1 tsp sugar
.ice water (about 5-8 tablespoons)

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

1. Chill butter for one hour minimum: cut butter into 1/2″ cubes and store in your freezer for at least an hour: all wet ingredients must be very cold before starting or your butter will melt during the crust-making process;
2. Transfer chilled butter to a large mixing bowl;
3. Add 2½ cups flour;
4. Add salt and sugar;
5. Using a pastry cutter or the pulse mode of your food processor, mix butter and flour until it reaches coarse meal consistency;
6. Add water one tablespoon at a time until dough starts to stick together;
7. Once dough starts to stick together, form into two round mounds;
8. Wrap dough in foil or plastic wrap; chill in refrigerator for at least one hour.

3. Homemade Pumpkin Pie Filling

.½ cup brown sugar
.½ cup white sugar
.2 tsp cinnamon
.½ tsp ground ginger
.¼ tsp ground cloves
.¼ tsp nutmeg
.3 eggs, beaten
.1 can evaporated milk
.2 cups fresh pumpkin puree
(makes one 9″ pie)

Tools needed: large mixing bowl, small bowl for eggs, measuring cups, measuring spoons, whisk

Preheat oven to 425F and prepare filling:
1. Add brown and white sugar to a large mixing bowl;
2. Add cinnamon, ground cloves, ginger and nutmeg;
3. Stir with a whisk until well combined;
4. Add beaten eggs; whisk until fully combined;
5. Add pumpkin puree and evaporated milk; whisk until fully combined.

4. Roll Crust, Assemble & Bake

Tools needed: rolling pin, 9-inch pie plate

1. Take your handmade pie dough out of the refrigerator and let it sit for 5-10 minutes on a lightly floured surface;
2. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out for a 9-inch pie (if your dough is sticking, add a little flour to your rolling surface);
3. Place the crust in your pie tin and shape it as evenly as possible all around;
4. Pour in pie filling;
5. Place pumpkin pie in 425F oven for 15 minutes;
6. Reduce heat to 350F for another 50 minutes or so (your pie is ready when a metal skewer poked through the center of your pie comes out clean);
7. Allow to cool for 2 hours;
8. Serve with freshly whipped cream with a hint of vanilla or brandy for a festive twist.

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