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Pumpkin Pie for the win!

Do you enjoy a pumpkin pie?

Pumpkin pie

It is so easy to make from scratch. There are only a few tricks to the process; use a proper pumpkin, fresh eggs, and flavorful spices.

Fresh pumpkins for roasting

Select a smaller "sugar" or "pie" pumpkin for roasting. Do not use a large jack-o-lantern pumpkin. A 2 pound sugar pumpkin is perfect. Cut it open, scoop out the seeds, coat with good olive oil and roast cut-side-down on a baking sheet at 400-degrees for 30 - 40 minutes until soft. Peel away the pumpkin skin and chop up the flesh.

Puree in a blender, use your mixer, or strong-arm whip until smooth. You should have about 2 cups of pumpkin. You can store the cooked pumpkin in a refrigerator for a couple of days in a covered container.

Pumpkin Pie ingredients

Use 2 large fresh eggs, 1 cup of whole milk, 1 Tbsp flour, 1 tsp pure vanilla extract, 1 cup cane sugar, and 1/2 tsp kosher salt, along with 2 heaping tablespoons of pure spice blend. The basic spice blend from SalemSpice for pumpkin pie contains Saigon Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, Cloves, and Allspice.

Pumpkin Pie spice blend

Your goal is to create a pudding with the pumpkin that is flavorful and will 'set' when baked. 2 - 3 eggs (depending on size), 1 cup of whole milk, and 1 Tbsp of general purpose flour are the best ingredients.

A whole discussion is possible on the use of Evaporated Milk (60% of the water removed and then canned to be shelf-stable), Condensed Milk (Evaporated milk with sweeteners).

My preference is to not use canned products in favor of preserving the natural flavors of the pumpkin and spices. I'm also advocating for flour - since most crusts are flour-based, hence gluten-free is not an issue. If you are looking for a gluten-free pumpkin pie, use cornstarch, arrowroot, or tapioca to help thicken the milk and help the pie set when cooked.

  • Beat the eggs separately, but not to the point of frothing the whites.

  • Add in the remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.

  • Pour into your prepared pie crust. This recipe should fill a deep-dish 9" pie crust easily.

  • Do not fill to the brim, the pie will expand as it cooks. Fill to leave about 1/4" below the rim.

  • Always bake a one-crust pie on a cookie sheet to even out the bottom temperature of the pie pan and to catch spills. Plus, you can handle the cookie sheet without touching the pie crust.

Preheat the oven to 425-degrees.

Place the pie in the hot oven for 15 minutes, and then reduce the temperature to 375 degrees for 30 - 40 minutes.

Test for doneness by inserting a fork into the pie and having it come out clean.

Pumpkin pie out of the oven

There is another discussion to be had about 'blind baking' the crust before filling, but that is another story, and for reasons of my own, I don't do it. :)

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