Without a doubt the best part of the holidays for me this year was having my daughter, now living in North Carolina, come to visit for a week. We tried to cram in all our favorite holiday traditions, like decorating candles, making kite paper stars, watching “White Christmas”, visiting family for the Fitzgerald Family Christmas eve gathering (complete with carol singing to accordion accompaniment by my cousin, Aron). And of course our favorite activity, cooking and eating together! One of Audrianna’s favorite desserts is pumpkin pie, so I showed her how to make it from scratch with beautiful Cinderella and Sugar Pie pumpkins from the garden. Definitely worth the extra effort to make the filling yourself and if you bake the pumpkin ahead of time you can freeze the filling and have it ready for a last minute pie. We also made applesauce from the remainder of our Granny Smith apples I have been saving since fall harvest. You may be wondering why bother making applesauce or pie filling when you can easily buy a jar or can at the store? One taste of homemade applesauce and pumpkin pie will tell you why, plus you can make a big batch and freeze the pumpkin and can the applesauce and have both all year long. Here is our first mother-daughter holiday recipe offering:
AUDRIANNA’S FAVORITE PUMPKIN PIE RECIPE
Note: you can adjust the seasonings based on your preferences. I like ginger so use a bit more. I have also used eggnog instead of the milk and it was delicious. You can substitute almond or soymilk, too. *Do NOT use canned evaporated milk… way too much processing and sweetened condensed milk is all that plus tons of added sugar. ICK!
TO MAKE THE PUMPKIN PUREE: Cut the pumpkins in half, remove all the seeds and cut into large wedges. Place pumpkin pieces on roasting pan and bake in 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until very soft.
Let cool, then scoop the pumpkin from the skin and put into a food processor and blend until smooth. You will probably need to add a little milk to the puree to help it blend well. An immersion or hand blender would work, too, if you don’t have a Cusinart-type processor. Once it is well blended you can freeze it for later or use it right away.
“Put pumpkin pulp into food processor and blend until smooth”
INGREDIENTS for PUMPKIN PIE:
- 2 and 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
- 3 large eggs, slightly beaten
- 1⁄4 cup milk or half-and-half or cream or eggnog or almond milk or soymilk*
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 TBSP maple syrup
- 2 TBSP flour
- 1 – 1 ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1⁄4 tsp ground allspice
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp orange zest (optional but really yummy)
- pastry for single-crust pie (make ahead or buy frozen pie crust)
“Mix eggs, spices, milk and pumpkin puree in large bowl and mix well”
- Prepare and roll pastry for single-crust pie and place in a 9 “ pie plate
- In a large bowl stir together, pumpkin puree, slightly beaten eggs, and the milk.
- Stir in sugar, flour, vanilla, maple syrup, and all the spices and orange zest if using.
- Pour pumpkin mixture into pastry-lined pie plate.
- To prevent the edge of the crust from browning, cover with strips of foil (see photo)
- Bake in 375 F oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove foil and add any decorative pieces of crust to top of pie.
- Bake for 40 minutes more or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
- Cool for about an hour, then refrigerate for a few hours or overnight
- Slice and serve with homemade whipped cream sweetened with just a touch of maple syrup.
NOTE:We make whip cream in a mason jar and pass it around and let everyone shake until it gets thick! Good way to get a little exercise before eating dessert 🙂