Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Best Pumpkin Pie Ever


Making a pumpkin pie for the Thanksgiving table has been my job for as long as I can remember. It's a tradition I always enjoy and generally has had very tasty results, minus the year I made the pie for my in-laws and forgot to add the sugar. Opps, sorry Chris and Bill... :-(

Growing up I usually followed the recipe on the back of the can of Libby's pumpkin puree. Though I have a distinct memory of my grandmother and Aunt telling me you can be creative with pie recipes! My grandmother was the one who taught me to add molasses or maple syrup and taste as you go with the spices.

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When I was working at the MLC, we hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for our students each year. One year one of the volunteers also happened to be the head baker at Zelo in downtown Minneapolis. To say she knew her sweets would be an understatement. She graciously offered up her recipe and I haven't looked at the canned recipe since! I've tinkered with this one, and it doesn't get much better then this for a delicious autumn treat!

Last year when I finally started using a real pumpkin, the recipe was complete! I made a homemade crust this year, and it was fabulous!


Most Awesome Pumpkin Pie

2 cups pumpkin puree
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
1 2/3 cup milk (I use skim milk)
1/8-1/4 cup maple syrup

If you're starting from a pumpkin: Carefully cut the pumpkin in half. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Lightly drizzle the flesh with olive oil. Place cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about an hour at 350 degrees. When the pumpkin is finished, the flesh should be easily pierced with a fork and the skin should be soft.

Let the pumpkin cool until it's easy to handle. Scoop out the flesh and place in a bowl. Once all the flesh has been removed, you can smooth it out a number of ways, blender, food processor, or immersion blender. I suppose you could hand mash it as well. Once the pumpkin is smooth and pureed, place a few layers of cheesecloth in a colander over a pot. Add the puree on top of the cheese cloth and let it sit covered for a few hours or overnight to drain the excess water. (You could probably use it right away, but your recipe might have a bit extra moisture.)

If you're making your own crust:
I used Brown Eyed Baker's method for a butter crust and it was so easy and delicious!

She has directions for making a pie crust both with a food processor and by hand. The recipe calls for basically just butter and flour. So easy! (But rolling pins are helpful.)

For the pie:
Mix all the ingredients together. Pour into a 9 inch pie crust. Bake at 350 until the pie is set, around 40-45 minutes.

Enjoy with a dollop of homemade whip cream. So delicious!

Happy Holidays!

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