If you happen to have a pumpkin still sitting on your front porch waiting for a purpose in life, you may just want to try your hand at making pie from it. It takes a bit more time that popping open a can. But it is not difficult, and it always gives me a feeling of self-suffiency to be able to make it myself from something that might have been thrown away otherwise.
Start by washing off the pumpkin, cutting it in half with a heavy knife, and scraping the seeds out of the center. I often enlist my kids to help me sort out the seeds. (We like to toss the seeds in oil, paprika, and garlic salt and bake til crispy, about 15 minutes.)
The next step is to cut the pumpkin into large-ish chunks, maybe about the size of your palm. Place these chunks in a large pot of water and let it boil until the pumpkin flesh is soft, about 20-25 minutes.
Drain the water off the pumpkin, and rinse it with cool water, then drain in a colander. When the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, cut the skin off the flesh. Puree the softened pumpkin in a food processer. This pumpkin will be lighter in color and has just a little more liquid in it than pumpkin from a can, so for pumpkin pie I decrease the liquid in the recipe by a couple tablespoons. But beyond that, you can use this pumpkin just like the pumpkin out of a can. Here's my recipe. Any extra pumpkin puree can be frozen until you need it, for pie, bread, or muffins.
Homemade Pumpkin Pie
Makes one pie
- 1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree, canned or fresh
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 unbaked pastry shell (9-inch)
Combine sugar, salt, spices, and flour in a medium mixing bowl. Add pumpkin and eggs; mix well. Add evaporated milk, and vanilla; mix well again. Pour into pastry-lined pie pan. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350° and bake about 35 minutes longer, or until center is set.