Thursday, October 29, 2009

Recipe: Pumpkin Pie from Scratch

Reader Helen T. from Moonachie, NJ, gives us this recipe for homemade pumpkin pie:

If you're going to make pumpkin pie from scratch, you want a small sugar pumpkin, not the big field pumpkin used for jack o'lanterns. Wash the pumpkin with warm water to remove any dirt, then cut it in half with a serrated knife or a small saw.

Scoop out the seeds and save them for roasting. Remove the stem and put the pumpkin pieces in a microwavable bowl. (You may need to cut the pumpkin into smaller pieces.) Put a couple inches of water in the bowl and microwave until soft (about 10 minutes).  You can also steam it on a stove for 30 minutes.

Scoop the meat out of the skin. Let it sit for 30 minutes and drain any standing water. Put it in a blender on puree for three minutes.

Mix three cups of pumpkin puree with 1 cup of sugar or 3/4 cup of honey. Add 1 teaspoon of ground cloves, 1 teaspoon of ground allspice, 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger, 4 large eggs, and 18 ounces of condensed milk. Mix well, Pour into a pie crust. This makes a fluffy pie; if you'd like a denser pie, use three eggs and 12 ounces of condensed milk.

Bake the pie for 15 minutes at 425 degrees, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake another 45 minutes or so, until a table knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

By the way, to roast the seeds, wash them in warm water and dry on a paper towel for 30 minutes. Then mix them with a tablespoon of oil or melted butter and roast them in the oven at 250 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. Salt them for a delicious snack.

Thanks, Helen. Readers, we'd love to hear your recipes. Send them to us here.

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