Saturday, December 29, 2012

Pumpkin Pie

How To Cook A Pumpkin

It is very easy to cook a fresh pumpkin. Brian recommends you put a pumpkin on a cookie sheet lined with foil (for easy clean-up if it drips) and cook the pumpkin whole for 1-1.5 hours at 350 °F. Once cooked the pumpkin is very easy to handle. Let the pumpkin cool. Cut unto half and remove seeds with a spoon. At this point the pumpkin is very soft and the flesh can be removed with a spoon or a knife along the edge of the outer shell. Puree the pumpkin or mash. If you have more pumpkin than you need for the recipe you are making, freeze the extra in a quart zip lock bag for easy future use. I often cook several pumpkins at a time (six small ones fit on a large cookie sheet on one shelf) and freeze it all. Our sweet heirloom pie pumpkins are amazing for any baking use.

Pumpkin Pie - Traditional (Reed's Favorite)

Preheat oven to 400 °F. In a large bowl combine 4 cups pumpkin puree, one 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk and 2 eggs with one tablespoon pumpkin pie spice. mix thoroughly until blended. Pour into your favorite pie crust. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 °F and back for another 35 to 40 minutes. Test until a knife comes out clean.

Pumpkin Pie - Low Carb, Gluten-Free (Brian’s Favorite)

Preheat oven to 400 °F. In a large bowl combine 2 cups of pumpkin puree, 3 eggs, 1 cup cream (use fresh cream if possible), Stevia Sweetener to taste, t teaspoon dark molasses (optional), 1 table spoon pumpkin pie spice. If you want to go full low carb make a nut crust from ground almonds or pecans, melted butter and molasses pressed into a pie pan, otherwise pour mixture into the crust of your choice. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 °F and bake for 30-40 minutes more. Test with a knife until it comes out clean. Whip some real cream with vanilla. Jenna says Yum!

Pie variations...we make many pies in the winter and have tried these.

  • Crustless. Coat pie pan with oil or butter and cook without a crust. Pumpkin pie is basically a custard and makes a nice pie even without a crust.
  • Light’n’Fluffy. Add 1-2 more eggs. Works good with a crustless pie. As you have more room without a crust.
  • Vanilla. Add a couple of table spoons (or more) of vanilla.
  • Chocolate. Add a couple of table spoons (or more) of coca. Makes a darker pie.
  • Double chocolate. Also add some chocolate chips. Also works with butterscotch chips.
  • Less sweet. Cut back on the sweetener for a naturally sweet pie. Can also use honey.
  • Nut Crust. Make a nut crust with melted butter and ground nuts pressed into the pie pan. This also works well with ground flax.
  • Squash. Don’t have a pumpkin. Butternut or Long Island Cheese squash makes a good pie.
  • Fairytale or European Pumpkin. Petersen’s sell these early in the season (usually sell out by Thanksgiving). Cool looking and very good eating. Freeze leftovers.
  • Layered. Get everything baked and cooled. Then pour a thin layer of chocolate pudding on top.
  • Toppings. Whip some real cream with vanilla and stevia until stiff. Wow this is good.
  • Cheese Cake. Add pumpkin and spices to your favorite cheese cake. Best to look up a recipe.
  • Flax. Add a couple of table spoons of fresh ground flax to the puree. Fresh grind in a coffee grinder.
  • Breakfast. Andrea & Jenna love to bookend their day with a pumpkin pie breakfast. Before bed too.
  • Flavors. Try Almond, Coffee, Vanilla, Chocolate and Orange.
  • Coconut. Add a cup of coconut to the puree and sprinkle more on top when the pie cools.

  • Presentation. Swirl some chocolate syrup on top of your slice like a fancy restaurant.

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