12.16.2017

Channeling the Ancestors

Pumpkin pie isn’t just for Thanksgiving, you know. It’s good for any holiday. Even Valentine’s Day.

I know I admitted that I am not a pumpkin fanatic, but perhaps that is because people make every pumpkin recipe they can between Thanksgiving and the New Year. Too much all at once.

Since winter squashes and pumpkins last for months in cool storage - long into the winter and even beyond - why not spread the love?

Even though we are in “high season” for pumpkin recipes, I am going out on a limb with one more.

Today’s recipe for pumpkin pie is from my friend Patricia. Actually, the recipe comes from her ancestors – she told me the recipe goes way back. It is, honestly, the best pumpkin pie I have ever had - or made.

But it wasn’t her ancestors I was channeling. It was mine.

Earliest settlers of the United States most likely made their pumpkin pie much more savory, without sugar.

So when I made today’s pie, I put it in the oven only to discover the measuring cup of brown sugar untouched on the counter. I know I must have been channeling my ancestors.

However, my momentary lapse into the 18th century was soon over; I quickly pulled the pie out of the oven and gently whisked in the sugar.

Crisis averted. Best pumpkin pie saved.

~ David

Pumpkin Pie

1 recipe basic pie crust
1 cup steamed, strained pumpkin
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
pinch salt
2 eggs
2 cups cream
unsweetened whipped cream, for serving


Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a 9- or 10-inch pie plate with the pastry dough; trim and crimp edges.

Combine remaining ingredients (including the brown sugar) in a large bowl and beat until smooth. Pour into crust. Bake 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 350°F and bake for 45-60 minutes longer, or until the filling is firm and set. Serve warm or room temperature with whipped cream.


Serves 8.

33 comments:

  1. Hmmm. I'll let you in on a little secret: I've never cared for pumpkin pie. But I think I may never have had a properly made one. This actually looks and sounds delicious. May give it a try!

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    1. I didn’t like pumpkin pie until I was long intp my adulthood, Frank. Maybe the same will happen for you?

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  2. This sounds fantastic! Nice recovery with the sugar. I have done the same thing and not realized it until I licked the beaters. Fortunately, I didn’t waste anytime before tending to the beaters. 😉

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    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one who does this, Lois!

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  3. I've had too many bad pumpkin pies in my life to let loose of the idea that I don't like pumpkin pie. If I were a better person I'd let go my prejudices and give this pie a try. Maybe as a New Year's resolution I'll do just that. After all pumpkin pie works for every holiday even New Year's Day. GREG

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    1. Maybe that is why I never liked pumpkin pie as a kid -too many bad ones out there! Not sure you need to make this your resolution, Greg, but it is worth a try!

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  4. I tried pumpkin pie once in the States many years ago and wondered what all the fuss was about. It was all just sugar, and the thought of highly sweetened pumpkin still doesn't sit with me. If this is the best pumpkin pie recipe, then I need to give it a try.

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    1. Let me know if you do try it, John... it is less sweet than most!

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  5. I wonder what would have happened if you'd sprinkled the sugar on top and not mixed it in.

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    1. That’s a good question, Lynn! Maybe I should try it as an experiment!

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  6. I don't even like pumpkin pie, but your photos make it look delicious!

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  7. I like pumpkin pie but my husband doesn’t, so I never make it. Yours looks great and I wish I had a slice of it. I often forget ingredients.

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  8. ...about "pumpkin fanatism": ... what about tortelli di zucca mantovani?, with amaretti., sage, spices.. if well made, their savoury-sweet taste is amazing...
    ... I like pumpkin but only when its cloying sweetness is tempered/counterbalanced by spicy-sour tones...+ pumpkin pie is something I have never cooked: generally, most recipes are far too sweet for my palate. I see u use 150 g sugar /3/4 cup, with 2 cups cream and 2 eggs.... this seems much better + by the way: the pastry looks perfectly cooked at the bottom. nice!
    stefano

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    1. Stefano - My friend Annamaria gave me her recipe for tortelli di zucca. I’m planning on making it over the holidays. Also some gnocchi, as I, too, prefer the less sweet pumpkin preparations. I hope you and Paul have a great Christmas and happy New Year!

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    2. PS - thanks for noticing my bottom crust! I do pride myself on that!

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  9. Your pie looks perfect and I love that you use dark brown sugar, David. I haven't made a homemade pumpkin pie since last year and I'm overdue, but I'll try your recipe the next time I do. Now I'm craving it... ;) YUM!:)

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    1. What amazes me, Marcelle, is how easy a pumpkin pie is! It takes just a few minutes of prep, and then the baking time. You should make one now! :)

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  10. Mmmm, nothing better than pumpkin pie- before I know it, I've quaffed the whole pie down in one sitting! I notice the recipe says 'steamed pumpkin'- I've never heard of that preparation before. I always use either butternut pumpkin (squash) or sweet potatoes- I find that using a whole pumpkin is rather unwieldy (and they're danged hard to cut up into pieces)! Thanks for the recipe.

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    1. Fran - that is why I always make it for company - they help me keep from eating the entire thing myself! Patricia steams her pumpkin - I bake mine. I have never used butternut, though. Here in the US, we have small pumpkins called "pie pumpkins" or "sugar pumpkins" that are just the right amount for a pie or two!

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  11. Totally agree that pumpkin pie isn't just for Thanksgiving! I love pumpkin pie so much and yours looks perfect.

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    1. Thanks, Amy! It is really a wonderful version - I hope you try it!

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  12. Too funny, David! But the sugarless pie would've gotten you ready for the pumpkin pie I make for just us. I only use about 3 tablespoons of sugar! When making it for guests, I use 2/3 cup. We love our lightly sweetened version.

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    1. I will definitely try less sugar, Jean, but I doubt I will get to 3 tablespoons!

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  13. I love pumpkin pie any time of the year!

    Thanks for the Christmas card, sweetie. Hope you guys have an amazing Christmas and the best 2018! xoxo

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  14. Now I was waiting to find out that a savory pumpkin pie was delicious... ah well! Yes, I have whisked a few things into foods pulled out of the oven myself :) This year I've been doing sweet potato pie instead of pumpkin and really enjoying that!

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    1. I have actually made a savory pumpkin pie, Inger, but it needs more than just leaving out the sugar (as I found out!). I haven't had a sweet potato pie in years!

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  15. It’s always amazed me why pumpkin is only popular for 6 weeks a year! I enjoy pumpkin year round and this pie looks a winner.

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  16. Haha! Good to know I'm not the only one who does things like this! I've made scones and muffins sans sugar before, but unfortunately didn't catch it before baking, as you did! I never used to like pumpkin pie, but a really good one is amazing to me, now! Yours looks like it would make me a fan! :)

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    1. I imagine your muffins and scones were still pretty good - were they? I am glad you now like pumpkin pie, Christina! But let's leave the fanaticism to others!

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