Thanks for a nice article. I used to always have to make pumpkin pie from scratch (and scour the middle eastern markets to even find one!) when I lived in Europe in the eighties, since canned pumpkin was not available.
Glad you enjoyed it. I'm surprised canned pumpkin was not really available in the eighties. Maybe it is one of those canned goods we take for granted. It seems every holiday season the grocery stores stock pile end caps with cases and cases of it :)
The first time I ever made pumpkin pie from scratch was when I worked in a Philadelphia restaurant as a pastry chef assistant. Pumpkin pie was always popular.
Behind the scenes in the kitchen, the chefs always struggled to cut the pumpkins. I didn't know back then, the trick was to par-cook the pumpkins before cutting them, or that I could make a pie, just as delicious, without all the extra eggs and use of heavy cream!
Great article! I love pumpkin and I think now I will try growing my own. Here is a recipe I found on a can of pumpkin and we really like it. Made with egg whites, it's a bit lighter than a lot of pie recipes, but still very pumpkiny and rich tasting. I notice that it calls for the high temperature start - I think when I make it again I will try baking it the entire time at 350 per your suggestion.
Sleepy Hollow Pumpkin Pie
("ShariAnn’s Organic Pumpkin" recipe)
1 15 oz can Organic Pumpkin
2 eggs (or 4 egg whites lightly beaten)
1 14 oz can fat free sweetened condensed milk (or 1 cup soymilk and ½ cup maple syrup
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
½ tsp salt
1 9-inch deep-dish pie shell
Lightly beat eggs in separate bowl.
Blend all ingredients except pie shell together. Do not beat. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350° and bake for an additional 40-50 minutes or until knife comes out clean when inserted in center of pie.
That recipe looks like a winner too, thank you for sharing it.
About the oven temperature...I guess I should have made it clearer in my article that if you are using a regular butter crust, the initial higher oven temperature is definitely preferred to set the crust.
In more recent years, since I've been so involved in culinary arts, health foods and nutrition, I don't dare use lard, shortening, or a stick of butter in a crust anymore. And, surprisingly our family has discovered that lower fat pie crusts do taste just as good.
The lower temperature works best for graham cracker crusts or lower fat pie crusts. Use your judgment for the best oven temperature for your pie, depending on your crust recipe :)
Ah-ha - what is your recipe for lower fat pie crust? I've just been perusing the blog at King Arthur Flour and the featured pie crust, while it sounds delicious, is made with butter and 0 trans fat shortening. They do discuss blind baking the crust for a short time before adding the filling.
I just pulled out some frozen pumpkin and I'm going to cook up a pie this morning and double check my ingredient quantities and do a quick nutrient analysis before I post my favorite, a reduced fat pasta frolla dough :)
Pasta frolla is traditionally used in Italian cooking and baking. Not necessarily in pumpkin pie; however, I love it in Grain and Ricotta pie at Easter and thought it would work nicely for pumpkin pie too - I think it does. It is basically a short crust pastry, also called Pate Sucree in French.
I'm always experimenting for healthier options. Sometimes I use a pie dough substituting oil for butter - that works well too. I tried a wheat-free crust in the last pumpkin pie I made, adding a sprinkle of flax seeds too. It came out pretty good, but I used some chickpea flour in my flour blend and it contributed too strong a flavor. I'll have to change that the next time.
I'll post back the recipe and a photo tomorrow or maybe later tonight when I get back from a class.
This is a photo of the wheat-free dough, it was hard to form a scalloped border, so I just used clear wrap and pressed it smooth
Cool - I'll watch for the recipe. I ordered a new roll out mat, since one of my problems has always been sticking. My old one is about 30 years old, so I think I deserve it. KA also has a whole wheat version in their cookbook that I'm going to try. I make ShooFly Pie for Christmas dinner and it is good with a WW crust (I use white whole wheat flour).
I haven't had ShooFly Pie for a real loooong time! That sounds good with the WW crust.
Well, Thanksgiving travels have started in our household. I just took my mom to the bus station. She is on her way to Cape Cod, NJ via New York.
I forgot to tell you I like visiting the King Arthur site too. I usually use their flour here at home. And, I have tried blind baking the crust for pumpkin pie, and found it still got soggy after a day in the fridge. I don't think it is worth the extra effort. That is always going to happen with a traditional butter or shortening crust and a moist custard filling. That was the main reason I switched to using a Pasta frolla (Pate sucree/short crust) pie shell. A traditional Pasta frolla is 2 parts flour to 1 part fat. In reducing the fat, it does make a crust that is not as "melt in your mouth," but I still think it is "restaurant worthy."
Fat aides in making a tender crust, lowering the fat ratio makes it a bit tricky to avoid gluten development. The flour particles are less coated with fat, and therefore are more open to gluten formation when a splash of water is added.
Look for my low saturated fat, pasta frolla crust recipe in a separate thread :)
Loved this article;
After all I only grew about 500 butternuts this summer and about 500 pounds of sweet potatoes. Pies and casseroles seems to be the best thing to do with them.
And you can not beat pumpkin pie for a health food.
I have a sweet potatoe casserole ready to go tomorrow (ssssshhhhhh- half of it is butternut squash) I can handle the no crust stuff, it is the crust stuff I have a problem with on a low carb diet, yet I have a pumpkin pie with crust ready to hurt my family's bellies.
My recipe for a casserole:
Throw about six or seven medium sweet potatoes in the oven at 350 degrees
Throw in the oven at the same time a big butternut squash.
Cook untill tender.
Peel off the skins of these yellow vegetables and scoop out the seed of the butternut.
Blend in a food processor untill it is all fluffy.
In a mixer;
5 eggs and blend
11/2 cup of powered No Calorie sweetner, that can be used for cooking.
1/2 of molasses, or sorgum - get a brand that is honest and says: not made from corn syrup.
1/2 tsp of salt
4 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp of cinnamon.
Blend very well.
At the very end put in a cup of cream, or one cup of half and half - I forgot to do that yesterday and reallllllyyyy I think it is better????!!!! I don't think I will bother with that any more! Less calories, less fat, less carbs.
Oh, also I put in poultry seasoning by mistake instead of the pumpkin pie spice (like when someone got in my kitchen and put it in the wrong place)!!!! Well, don't worrry because beleive it or not it is pretty good too- just go ahead and put in the pumpkin pie spice too, and it gives it a bit of a kick!
As a matter of fact if you have messed up and need advice, please feel free to ask me what you should do - because I am the expert. Just saying, willing to help in the catagory on the eve of Thanksgiving.