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Pumpkin pie is an American origional. Pumpkin (squash) seeds have been found in some of the earliest archeological sites in the Americas, and were a staple in the diet of much of the Americas by the time of the Egyptian pyramids. This recipe is my mother's, and has at least an eight thousand year tradition.
Canned pumpkin is good, and will make an excellent pie. For more variety, less expense, and an even better pie, start with your own pumpkins. For pumpkin pie, Halloween pumpkins are good, and can be had cheap and easy, but even better are the pumpkins that are especially grown for pies ect. There are several varieties, each with its own charm. Generally they are smaller, and more flavorful, dense and sweet.
Whatever kind of pumpkins you have, wash them, stick a knife in them a couple times so they don't explode from steam pressure. Then put them on a cookie sheet or pizza pan in a 325 oven for a couple or three hours until they sort of collapse, and are nice and tender. Cool the pumpkins off a bit, open and remove the seeds. Scoop out the flesh. Run the flesh though a food mill, or mash it well by hand, or toss it around in a food processor. If you use a food processor, don't over-use it. Let the pumpkin drain for a couple hours or overnight in a strainer.
Your first pie will need a cup and a half of this rather dry pumpkin pulp, or you can use canned pumpkin. Three nice pumpkins will give you enough pumpkin for 6 to 10 pies. This pumpkin pulp freezes really well.
Now, to the pie:
Heat Oven to 425 Degrees.
Make pie dough for a single crust pie, or buy a prepared crust.
For one pie, in a mixing bowl, mix well together:
- 1 1/2 cup, essence of fine pie pumpkins you have prepared, or the canned.
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cp sugar, at least part brown
- 1/2 tsp salt
- tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/2 tsp ginger, or a chopped piece of fresh is good
- 1 cup unsweetened condensed milk
- 1 Tbl rum, brandy, orange liqueur, whiskey or fruit juice.
Mix all together well. Fill prepared crust with pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle a bit of nutmeg, mace or red chile over the top of the pie. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Without opening the oven door, turn heat down to 375 and check pie after 30 minutes. Pie will be done when a toothpick or thin stick inserted in thickest part of the pie comes out clean, and a few cracks have developed on the top. Cool pie for a bit before cutting. Serve alone in splendor, or decorated with a mint leaf or a thin slice of lime. A bit of vanilla ice cream and/or fresh whipped cream are also naturals. Brandy, dessert wines and fine liquors also go well with a proper pumpkin pie.
Other possible additions are: a couple teaspoons of maple syrup, a small handful of chopped pecans, macadamias or other nuts, a bit of molasses, honey or other special sweetener. Chopped candied ginger is also nice. Pumpkin pie is a natural for a diabetic, since a little of any kind of sweetener goes a long ways with a good, naturally sweet pumpkin pie.
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