I am already thinking about Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday and my mind is buzzing with holiday recipes (thanks to my recent addiction to Pinterest). A few years ago I started making my own pumpkin puree so I didn’t have to buy the cans that are sometimes scarce in the grocery store around the holidays. It started as an experiment, but it turned out to change my holiday baking in a very significant way.
There are so many ways to use pumpkin puree. I have used it in Giada DeLaurentiis’ Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Risotto from foodnetwork.com, which, by the way, is out of this world fabulous!
My favorite way to use fresh pumpkin puree is in baking. Substitute the pumpkin puree for mashed banana when making quick breads (recipe to follow soon). You can also use it in muffins (this recipe also on its way). Today, I want to share how you can turn a traditional holiday recipe, pumpkin pie, into an over-the-top creamy and delicious version.
First, we have to make the pumpkin puree. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. i like to use sugar pie pumpkins which are smaller and have a smoother texture (and sweeter taste). With a sharp knife cut the top of the pumpkin (with the stem) off. Next, turn the pumpkin over on the cut side for stability and cut it in half. Scoop out the seeds and place on a tin-foil lined baking sheet cut side down. Cover with another layer of tin-foil and bake for 1 hour, or until a knife goes easily into the flesh. This recipe is so low maintenance; you can use the hour to check your e-mail, catch up on laundry…I’m sure you have plenty of things to do!
Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes until you can handle it. Scoop out the flesh of the pumpkin and place in a food processor until smooth. Now let the cooking begin….
Slightly adapted from Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie Recipe
This pumpkin pie is a favorite at family gatherings, as well as a cold fall weekend. I do use store bought pie crust because, after-all, I did make my own pumpkin. And I have to admit I’m more of a filling girl anyway.
- 1 store bought pie crust
- 3/4 c. granulated sugar
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 eggs
- 2 c. homemade pumpkin puree
- 1 can low-fat evaporated milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Allow the pie crust to come to room temperature for 15 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients. Mix the sugar and pumpkin pie spice together in a small bowl. In a mixing bowl combine eggs and pumpkin puree. Add the sugar and spices until well combined. Next add in the evaporated milk.
Optional: Spray the bottom of the pie plate with non-stick cooking spray. Roll out pie crust and crimp edges. Pour pumpkin mixture into the pie crust and place in oven at 400 degrees F for 10-12 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake 50 minutes until a toothpick or knife comes out clean (you can see my test spot in the picture, oops!).
The pie will have a luscious, light texture (similar to pumpkin mousse) and a creaminess that cannot be replicated; the color will be slightly lighter than a can-pumpkin pie as well. I allow mine to cool in the refrigerator overnight before serving (if you can wait that long). Enjoy!