Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Homemaking Skills - Pumpkin Pie 101

I have been asked to share how to make a pumpkin pie from scratch.  My daughters' friend (since Kindergarten) asked me to help her by sharing a "how to" make a pumpkin pie.  I LOVE sharing homemaking skills and encouraging young women to do these things.  Here is how my mom, Al's mom and sister Lori do it - they are the pie experts - not me...

First, I looked through some of my antique and vintage cookbooks.  If you are out at flea markets, antique shops or thrift stores - look for old cookbooks - they have tips no one shares anymore.  

Al's mom's recipe for:  "Fool Proof Pie Crust"

4 C flour
1 3/4 C vegetable shortening 
1 T sugar
2 t salt
1 T vinegar
1 egg
1/2 C cold water

Mix flour, shortening, sugar and salt with a pastry blender or fork.  In a cup, whisk together vinegar, egg and cold water.  Add this to the dry mixture - stir till moistened.  Mold into 4 balls.  Chill.  Roll out the ball on a well floured surface - to fit your pie pan.  Carefully roll the crust back onto your rolling pin and roll over your empty pan - or fold the crust in half then half again and place in your pan.  Press down the edges with a fork or pinch between your thumb and index finger to make a pretty edge.  

How to Prepare a Pumpkin for a Pie:

First, you need to use "pie" pumpkins - NOT the Jack-O-Lantern type.  Pie pumpkins are smaller and have a dense inside.  (Lisa, check with John and Linda Wierzba, out in Galloway...probably a relative to your boyfriend, they have these - this is who I get them from).

Cut your pie pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds, poke holes in the shell with a fork or knife.  Put the halves on a baking sheet or pan - put about 1/2" water in the bottom.  Bake at 200 overnight - Easy Peasy...

In the morning, scoop out the flesh and put in a food processor or blender - blend until there are no chunks.

Now, you don't have to do this part....you can buy a can of pure pumpkin.....you don't even have to make the crust from scratch....IGA has great prepared crusts....

Pumpkin Pie Filling - #1 (9" pie)

1 1/2 C cooked pumpkin puree
1 1/2 C evaporated milk
3/4 C sugar 
2 eggs
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ginger
1/4 t ground cloves

Pumpkin Pie Filling - #2 (9" pie) Betty Crocker

2 eggs
1 Can (16 oz) pumpkin
1 Can (12 oz) evaporated milk
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ginger
1/4 t ground cloves 

Now....my mom always used pumpkin pie spice instead of the individual spices - she always said it "mixed" up better.  If you do this, replace the cinnamon, ginger and cloves with 2 1/4 t pumpkin pie spice....I like it this way better.

With either of the 2 recipes, mix the following way:

Mix in bowl, sugar, salt - spices; which ever you choose - in a small bowl.  Beat eggs in a large bowl.  Stir in pumpkin and sugar spice mixture.  Gradually stir in the evaporated milk.  This can all be done by hand....

Pour the filling into your crust lined pan.  My mom always did this and I also like it....sprinkle 1 T sugar over the top of the filling - could do cinnamon and sugar too, but your pie will be darker when done.  I don't know why she did this, but it looks nice.  

Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, reduce to 350 bake 40 - 50 minutes.  Now to test your pie, poke a knife into baked filling - not in the middle - rather almost the middle - I don't know why, this is how my mom did it....when the knife comes out clean it is done.

I hope this was helpful and good luck baking!  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

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