Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pumpkin pie

Mmmmm...pumpkin pie. No holiday would be complete without it. Real pumpkin pie--that is, made from a real pumpkin, and not from a can of pumpkin pie filling--is a revelation. It's a completely different color, flavor and texture than the canned stuff. It's very light, very creamy and almost custardy, and tastes like pumpkin, not like pumpkin pie filling. I will admit making the puree is a bit of a hassle, but the final result is well worth it. You can make the puree any time of year you can find sugar pumpkins (the little ones, not the big jack o'lantern ones), and you can use the puree for pies, muffins, breads, pancakes, curries, soups, you name it. Freeze it and it keeps very well.

To make the puree, take a whole sugar pumpkin (or two, or three, or four). Cut into manageable pieces and remove the insides. Steam the pieces until tender all the way through—this will take a while—and let cool. Scrape the flesh from the rind into a food processor and discard rind. Puree. Freeze or make pie.

3 cups puree
¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon each salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger
3 large lightly beaten eggs
1 cup heavy cream

Combine, pour into two pie shells. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Serve with fresh whipped cream.

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