Wednesday, November 11, 2009

When you feel like wasting time in the kitchen

When you feel like wasting hours and hours of your life in the kitchen doing something that even your grandmother would probably look at you and think you're crazy for doing, please read on.

My children, God love 'em, talked me into making pumpkin pie last week.

Not just any plain ol', dump-the-pumpkin-out-of-the-can sort of pie, though.


That'd be too easy.

They talked me into making pumpkin pie from scratch with a pumpkin they brought home, oh, a month ago (MAN, do gourds last a long time) from a visit to Granny's house. They decided this when they saw a similar pumpkin at the pumpkin patch we visited and the sign beneath it said that it was great for pies.

Yeah, thanks for the info. I needed it. (Insert sarcasm here.)

So I started dissecting the sucker. For the record, this is a Cinderella pumpkin, aka a rouge vif d'etampes pumpkin.

Yeah, I'm not a big fan of the French, with my German heritage and all.

Die, pumpkin, die!

I did get some help. M1 volunteered to scoop out the goop.

He was even more keen to 'help' when he discovered that Vixen apparently thinks pumpkin goop is the shiznit.

Nothing's more fun than hauling a 4-month-old kitten out of the trash can repeatedly because she's headed for the pumpkin innards that stick to her long fur like burs on a dog.

Cats are NOT classy. I don't care what they think of themselves. They're not. Anything that goes dumpster diving goes in a category that's less than classy.

Moving on, I did manage to de-goop the pumpkin, chop it up, throw it in a pot with a bit of water, and simmer it for half an hour while keeping the kitten also de-gooped. It's a good thing.
While the pumpkin was steaming its way to shapeless mush, M1 and I whipped up a batch of pie crust. This is my recipe, translated into first-grade handwriting on a board without lines. It reads:

1. 2 cup flour
2. 1 t. slat (salt)
3. 3/4 cup Crisco
4. Ice water

That is how my grandmother makes pie crust. I am not ever allowed to make it any other way on pain of excommunication from any more of her pies in the future. Given that her pies are fantastic, I can work under those parameters.
This is what the pumpkin looked like after it was done cooking and was draining and steaming in the colander.

And this is what it looked like after I put it back in the pot and mashed the tar out of it. I have anger issues. Pumpkin therapy is a good thing.

And this is what it looked like after I combined it with all the other ingredients (Note to self: Do not use a mixer with pumpkin pie unless you want the kitchen to be redecorated with orange polka-dots), put it in the pie crust, and stuck it in the oven.

And THIS is what my kitchen looked like after all was said and done. Did I mention that one Cinderella pumpkin yields a whole crapload of pumpkin? And did I mention that I may have had to make a second recipe of pie crust for those mini-pies?

I told you you're insane for even thinking about it.

The rewards, however, are sweet.

In case you're ever inclined to be as nutso as I am, I'll give you the recipe, but don't say I didn't warn you!


1 9" pie crust
1 small pie pumpkin
2 eggs
3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1 T. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
(Can also use 1 T. pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg combo)
1 12-oz. can evaporated milk

Cut pumpkin in half; remove seeds and pulp. Cut pumpkin into chunks. Place in a saucepan over low heat with 1" of water. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer for 30 minutes or till tender. Drain WELL and remove the peel. Return the pumpkin to the saucepan and mash thoroughly. Drain again, if necessary.

In a large bowl, slightly beat eggs. Add brown sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg (or pumpkin pie spice), 2-3 c. of pumpkin puree, and evaporated milk. Stir well after each addition.

Pour the mixture into the unbaked pie crust. Place foil around the edge of the pie to prevent overbrowning.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Bake pie 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove the foil about 10-15 minutes before the end of cooking to brown the edges of the pie.

Cool and refrigerate.

1 comment:

Baloney said...

I'm so impressed. You make it from scratch?! Wow!