...one woman's decision impacts her family's diet....how long can they last without a trip through the drive-thru?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Day 10 and 11-Pumpkin Pie

Yesterday morning we decided to take a trip down to the Temecula Farmer's Market in Old Town Temecula (Saturdays until 12pm). It had been awhile since we had gone, and since the weather was nice we were all pretty excited about going.

In the past, I had found an organic cabbage that was bigger than my head, so you never know what amazing things you will find when you go. We managed to find some great veggies, including a pie pumpkin. I love baking and cooking, but have never had any formal training in either except from what I picked up from my Grandma Honey growing up. That's why a lot of my recipes are comfort food items, it's what I remember her making when I was a kid. So, when we found the pumpkin, my husband instantly wanted me to try to make pie.

I've made pies....apple caramel, apple cranberry, plain old apple, blueberry, but never....never....pumpkin. Unless of course it was frozen and only required heating. This sounded like a fun challenge to me, and I was curious if I could actually do it. I don't know if it was the early morning adventures in the Farmer's Market that added to my confidence, but I thought that if anyone could make a pumpkin pie from scratch, then it would be me. So, we bought the little pumpkin, and headed on our way home with the rest of our treasures. (Which included: okra, a tiger melon that the baby picked out, some jujubes, and a spaghetti squash for Monday's dinner.)

Where to start....well, I have some cook books, so I figured that I would look through those and see what I could find. First, my beat up Better Homes and Gardens. Found the section and the page, but...it requires 3 cups canned pumpkin. Ok....I know I could get 3 cups cooked pumpkin out of my pumpkin, but it wouldn't be the same.

Next, my Southern Living at home cookbook. Again, 3 cups canned pumpkin. A little disappointing. I have a very old copy of the Joy of Cooking, but it is very old, and a little hard to read, and since I was a little frustrated by this point I decided to just google a recipe.

I found several, and after comparing notes, comments, ingredients and reviews I combined the most common elements into my own recipe. And I used the crust recipe from my Southern Living at home book.

All I have to say is that pumpkin pie should never come out of a can or box again. It was worth the steaming, the peeling, the rolling and cooling of the dough, and every other little detail that went into it. The pie is already gone. I even made cinnamon whip cream from scratch to go on top. My new true love is homemade pumpkin pie from a real pumpkin.

It was quite the adventurous day.

Today has been a lot more low-key. We had a great morning at church (iamridgeline.com to hear the message), followed by an awesome nap. Tonight it's just me and the baby at home while my hubby is at Elevate (Ridgeline's teen group), so I think we are going to watch some movies, read some books and make something simple for dinner. Tomorrow night: Spaghetti Casserole. The only reason Spaghetti is on my fast food list is because we have an Italian restaurant here in town that is a drive-thru.

I suggest making the crust as the pumpkin is steaming so it has proper time to cool in the fridge. You can use a store bought crust if you wish, but it will never be the same as making it yourself.

Pumpkin Pie
makes 2- 9"pies which should serve lots, but if you are like us, then it won't last long

Organic Pie Pumpkin (enough to make 3 cups pureed pumpkin)
1 c sugar (or 3/4 c honey, but the pie will be more dense)
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp each: ground cloves, ground allspice
1/2 tsp each: ground ginger, vanilla extract, salt
4 large eggs (whisk until a little foamy in small bowl before adding to ingredients)
18 oz non fat evaporated milk
2 pie crusts in 2- 9 in pie plates (use your favorite recipe)

1) was outside of pumpkin using warm water, but no soap. Dry with a clean towel, and cut in half. 2) scrape out the insides, and if you wish, save the seeds (to roast, or grow). 3) cut pumpkin in chunks, removing stem but leaving peel intact. Steam in a steamer pot on the stove, the chunks of pumpkin until tender (a fork should easily slide into the skin and flesh) 6) scoop out the flesh from the peel, discarding the peel. Place the flesh into a food processor (or blender) and puree until smooth. 7) in a large bowl, mix the contents for your pie: sugar (or honey), cinnamon, ground cloves, ground allspice, ground ginger, salt vanilla. After you stir dry ingredients well, add your whisked eggs, 3 cups pumpkin puree, and evaporated milk. Stir until all ingredients are mixed well. 8) pour pie mix into pie crusts, leaving 1/2" room from edge of crust to allow for expansion while baking. 9) bake at 425 degrees for the first 15 minutes (helps pie to set), then reduce heat to 350 degrees. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle of pies comes out clean. Allow pie to cool before serving. Serve with whipped topping or ice cream.

Cinnamon Whipped Cream

1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 Tbsp confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar, you can use more or less depending on how sweet you want your cream)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1) using a mixer, whisk cream for 1 minute. 2) slowly add in remaining ingredients and mix until texture changes from cream to a light and fluffy whipped topping. (Don't whisk too long or you might end up with butter!) 3) use to top pie, ice cream, hot cocoa, or anything else that might require a little whipped topping!

The family reviews:
Dad: "Oh babe.....Oh, BABE! This is sooo good. Mmmmm....."

Baby: we normally don't give him sweets, so he was super excited to get some. Since it was made with organic ingredients, and didn't have any preservatives or high fructose corn syrup, I felt alright giving him a sliver. Needless to say, he devoured every crumb.

Picky Pregnant Friend #2: "It was delicious! Flaky warm crust....cinnamon pumpkin filling. I don't know what else to say, it was amazing." (it's actually funny, she saw on my Facebook page that I had made pie, so she sent me a text to see how it was, of course I invited her over for some and I personally think I made her night, especially since I sent her home with 2 pieces.)

Picky Pregnant Friend #2's Boyfriend: "Cinnamony!"

Super-athletic Friend: "I normally don't eat sweets. This pie was a little slice of heaven."

Side note: I consider my friends family, so when they share food with us, I will be posting their reviews along with my family's. I just want to clear that up in case anyone is wondering why I have friends listed under family.

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