Pumpkin Pie, Not From Concentrate

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A few days ago, I took an online quiz and discovered that I’m apparently 2/3 of the way to being a psychopath. Honestly, I think I (and everyone around me) took this news as an affirmation of what they already had suspected to be true.

But then again, this was an online quiz. Its results may be completely wrong and I might just be 100% psychopathic.

Anyways, before I go completely insane and cause a mass incident in my Economic Development class, I’ll leave this pumpkin pie recipe for you. This was not your regular pumpkin pie made out of a can. This was made with real sugar pumpkin roasted in the oven and puréed with…my hands. (Just practicing for when I mash other more gory substances.)

I was more than a little daunted by the thought of making a pumpkin pie completely from scratch, so I called in my super-talented baker friend, G, to help me out. Thank god I did. She somehow managed to cut open the pumpkin with a butter knife and had the brilliant thought to use the leftover crust and filling to make pumpkin bars.

It’s definitely worth skipping canned purée and roasting your own – the flavor becomes more about the pumpkin, less about the spice, and the texture is less mushy and more springy. Just make sure you mash it well to break the pumpkin into a smooth purée. (Dare I say, its stringy, chunky features should be…unrecognizable by the time you’re done with it.)

So when I’ve fallen into the practice of conning people because they deserve it and cheating on my multiple partners because it’s OK as long as you don’t get caught, just remember this: make sure you buy sugar pumpkins if you’re going to make your own pumpkin purée, otherwise your pumpkin pie will turn out stringy.

And remember that once, I was a lovely girl who made even lovelier pies, like this absolutely amazing made-completely-from-scratch pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin Pie – makes one 8-inch pie

Crust (adapted from Taste of Home)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup butter, melted

Filling (adapted from Pick Your Own)

1 pie pumpkin, roasted
1 cup sugar (or 1 1/2 cups honey)
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
4 large eggs
3 cups pumpkin “glop” aka puréed roasted pumpkin flesh
1 1/2 cans evaporated milk (we used 1 can and it was fine)

To bake the pumpkin in the oven:

1. Halve the pumpkin lengthwise.

2. Scoop out all the seeds (and save them for roasting!) and the darker orange, stringy middle part.

3. Place the halves face down on a baking sheet covered in foil.

4. Roast for 45-90 minutes, or until a knife slides easily into the pumpkin.

To make the pie:

1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, oats, and butter. Set aside one cup for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture into an un-greased pie tin (we used 8-in), set aside.

2. Mix together all the pie ingredients with a hand blender or mixer.

3. Pour the filling into the crust.

4. Bake at 425 F for the first 15 minutes, then turn down to 350 F and bake for another 45-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean.

5. (optional) Use leftover crust and filling to make pumpkin bars!

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