Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pumpkin Custard Pie

It's no secret that fall is my favorite time of the year. I love the holidays, the traditions, and of course...the food. The best part about the food?  The smells.  Fall means soups, stews, and roasting meats and vegetables. The whole house is perfumed by the smells emanating from the oven.

Yesterday was Halloween-- and as part of the school celebration, the kids classes were having potluck lunch parties.  I made fruit plates, and salads, and my favorite fall treat-- pumpkin pie.

My pumpkin pie is a little different that the traditional, it's much less dense, and more custard like. It's not as heavy, and? In my opinion? Much, much tastier.


Pie Crust

Use your favorite pie crust recipe, mix, uncooked store-bought, or mine (once I post it).  If using pre-made, I prefer the Betty Crocker boxed pie mix.  I use the entire box, adding water as directed, and combining by fork until water is incorporated.  You should be able to gather the dough in a ball and place in an ungreased, deep quiche pan. I use my fingers to spread out over bottom and sides of pan, crimping the top to create an even look.  Prick bottom and sides in a circular pattern with a fork.

1 sugar pumpkin
3 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 t salt
1 heaping tbsp all purpose flour
1 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
2 cups whole milk

Cut the top (with stem) and bottom of pumpkin to create a flat surface.  Cut the pumpkin in half, and remove seeds and pulp.  Place pumpkin, center down, on a parchment paper lined jelly roll pan. Pierce the skin with a fork. Roast at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.

Remove Pumpkin from oven and scoop out pulp. Set aside to cool, and raise oven temp to 450 degrees.

In a saucepan, bring milk just to boiling and remove from heat.  Set aside.

In an electric mixer, beat eggs until fluffy and light in color.

In a separate bowl, whisk sugar, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and flour, until combined. Add to eggs and blend until combined. Stir in milk a little at a time.

Add pumpkin and beat on low for 1-2 minutes. Pour mixture into pie shell.  Cover top edge of pie crust with tin foil.

Bake in oven for 5 minutes.  Turn heat down to 350 and bake for 1 - 1 1/2 hours.  After 30 minutes, remove tin foil. The pie is done when the middle is firm, if you jiggle the pan. You can also insert a bread knife into the center of the custard-- if it comes out clean, it's ready.

(Disclaimer: If you wanted to, you could substitute 4 heaping TBS of canned pumpkin for the fresh).

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