Another frustrating item missing from the shelves this fall has been pumpkin puree. The kind of pumpkin used in sweet breads, pies and cookies.
The shortage is not due to the pandemic but due to the wet growing season last year.
While waiting for pumpkin supplies to replenish in the grocery stores I for the first time tried making a pumpkin pie from an actual pumpkin.
Certain varieties of pumpkin are better for pie making and others are better for carving a Jack-o’-lantern.
I bought four pie pumpkins from a local organic farmer and friend and figured if I liked the end product I would grow my own pie pumpkins next year.
Here’s a step by step from pumpkin to pie.
These are a variety of pie pumpkin called Long Pie. They are a heirloom variety so I can save the seed and grow them next year!
On the advice from my farmer friend I treated the pumpkin just like a winter squash when cooking it.
I cut it lengthwise and scooped out the seeds and microwaved it on high for about 15 minutes in a glass pyrex pan covered with a piece of plastic wrap with a corner vented.
After cooling I scooped out the cooked flesh and got about enough for one pie. Now other articles I have read stated that you need to squeeze out any excess liquid from the flesh before using it. I did not have this problem with this variety of pumpkin. It was very dense. No excess liquid to be had.
I was concerned because this pumpkin puree did not look anything like what you buy in a can at the store. It looked exactly like butternut squash. No worries though! It looked like pumpkin once I got all of my ingredients in.
Once you cook and scoop out the cooked flesh run the pumpkin through a food processor or in my case a mini chopper to puree even more.
Now for the other pie ingredients. I followed the Libby’s Pumpkin Pie recipe which is on the back of the can. 2 Eggs, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp cloves, 1/2 tsp ginger, pumpkin puree (about a cup), 1 can of evaporated milk and an unbaked pie shell.
Mixed everything other than the milk together.
Looks more like pumpkin doesn’t it? Then I added the evaporated milk.
The mixture got pretty foamy on top for some reason so I skimmed some off after pouring it into the pie shell.
I baked it at the same temperature and for the same amount of time as the Libby’s recipe called for. And out popped a perfect pumpkin pie!
It was so creamy and smooth and delicious!
This baking experience has inspired me to add this pumpkin to my to-grow list for next year. If I get as many pumpkins as I did butternut this year then I should be well supplied for next Thanksgiving.
If you have a chance to try a true pie pumpkin in your recipes I encourage you to do so! -MM