Pumpkin Pie from a Pumpkin!

17 11 2010

Welcome to Test Kitchen Tuesday!

For my very first official post on this blog, I am replicating the original TKT post I wrote about this pie on my non-recipe blog. It is a good one, and worthy of a reprint! If you come across sugar pie pumpkins at the store, pick up a few and try your hand at fresh pumpkin pie. I have found that Trader Joes has the best prices on these little gems – usually less than $2/each this time of year. And, while you’re roasting pumpkins, make extra and freeze it for later. You can use pumpkin puree in a multitude of recipes, and it freezes well.

Making a pie from a pumpkin is easier than you might think, and when you tell people you made the pie from a pumpkin, not from a can, they will be incredibly impressed!

A few things to know before reading below: My husband’s Twitter handle is “2ChiliBreadBowl,” so, he has been dubbed “2Chili” for short. You can imagine his favorite food by his chosen nickname, I’m sure. He is pretty open to new ideas, but always lets me know the honest truth if I don’t need to make a recipe again. So, he is my ultimate Test Kitchen reviewer, and the gold standard by which I determine if TKT was a success or not!

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Making the pie requires three main work streams:

  • Roasting, pureeing, and straining the pumpkin
  • Making and chilling the crust
  • Mixing the filling and baking the pie

Time Required:

  • 1 hour to roast pumpkins; 1 hour to drain puree
  • 10 minutes to make dough; 30 minutes to chill dough in fridge
  • 10 minutes of other preparation and mixing the filling
  • 40-50  minutes to cook

Skill Level (out of a possible 5):PlatePlatePlate

2Chili’s Taster Rating (out of a possible 5):StarStarStarStarStar 
(Let’s be honest, this is pie, so it would have to be pretty terrible to  not get a 5!)

Serves: 6-8, depending on the size of your slice

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Preparing the Pumpkin

  • Obtain 2 sugar pie pumpkins. These are the cute little pumpkins, not the big pumpkins you buy to make jack-o-lanterns. While I was at it, I went ahead and roasted 3 pumpkins to have extra to freeze for later.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F
  • Cut the pumpkins in half down the middle, scooping out all the seeds and stringy insides. Keep the seeds to roast if you’re into that sort of thing.
  • Place the halved pumpkins face down on a cookie sheet or in a roasting pan and roast 45 minutes – 1 hour. The time required will depend on the size of your pumpkin and your oven. Mine took about 50 minutes. You want the pumpkin to be soft – you should be able to pierce it easily with a fork
  • Let cool, and scoop out the insides, placing into the food processor as you go; Don’t put in any burned bits – only pretty orange pumpkin. (The skin should basically just fall off, so you could also “peel” them)
  • Puree the pumpkin until it’s smooth
  • Pour the puree into a sieve or a colander lined with paper towels, and let drain for at least an hour or up to a day. You will be surprised how much liquid will drain out. You can put the puree mix into the fridge to chill out and drain while you’re working on other steps

For the Crust:

Adapted from Eating Rules, who adapted from More Best Recipes from the Editors of Cook’s Illustrated; Downloadable Word Document Recipe.

This recipe makes two crusts. You can split it in half or you can just make two and freeze the second one for later use.

12 ½ oz  (aka 2.5 cups) White Whole Wheat Flour (regular unbleached all purpose flour is fine)
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 tsp Kosher or Sea Salt
16 Tbsp (2 sticks) refrigerator-cold Unsalted Butter
1/3 cup Ice Water
3 Tbsp nonfat Greek yogurt (or sour cream)

  • In a food processor combine the flour, sugar (you might want to initially crumble the sugar around, as it will stick together), and salt. Pulse three or four times to combine.
  • Cut the butter into ½” cubes and sprinkle around the flour mixture in the processor. Pulse 10-12 times to get butter the size of peas.
  • Mix the water and yogurt together with a fork until smooth. Pour half into the processor and pulse three or four times. Add the rest of the mixture and pulse again three or four times.
  • Check the dough. If it’s not coming together and is dry, add a tablespoon or two of water. You want to make sure the dough comes together as you pinch it with your fingers.
  • Divide the dough and then flatten them into disks. Wrap with plastic wrap and put them in the fridge to rest for an hour or overnight. Before using, take out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 5 minutes for easier workability.
  • Roll it out into a round shape big enough to cover your pie plate and place into the plate, decorating the edges however you prefer.
  • You can “blind bake” the dough if you prefer to avoid having a soggy crust. I did this step, but am on the fence on if it is necessary. To blind bake, place parchment or wax paper over the dough, pour enough dried beans over it to fill up the pie plate, and bake at 350 for 10 minutes, and prepare the filling while the crust is baking. Don’t try to re-use these beans for eating after they have been used for blind baking…they won’t be good at all!

For the Filling

I just used the good ole’ tried and true Libby’s recipe for this, but instead of canned pumpkin, I used fresh. I also didn’t have any evaporated milk, so instead, I used 4 tablespoons of dried buttermilk, which seemed to work fine. Also, dried buttermilk has fewer calories than evaporated milk, so that was a happy accident that saved a few calories to boot!

One note from experience. If you blind bake the crust, do not follow Libby’s baking instructions. Simply pour the batter into the crust (after you remove the beans) and bake at 350 for 40-45  minutes.

Final product = yummy!

pie_thumb2

Nutrition Info
Based on 8 slices, made with my evaporated milk substitution:

Calories: 290
Total Fat: 13.3g
Saturated Fat: 7.8g
Sodium: 297.2mg
Carbohydrate: 38.6g
Fiber: 3.3g
Sugars: 21.9g
Protein: 5.4g

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