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Recipe File: Pumpkin Pie
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Cooking For Engineers



Joined: 10 May 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 3:40 am    Post subject: Recipe File: Pumpkin Pie Reply with quote


Article Digest:
With Halloween just around the corner and Thanksgiving only a month away, I thought I'd share my recipe for the American tradition called pumpkin pie. Many recipes are fibrous, bland, and either too dry or too wet. Here's a recipe that produces a pumpkin pie that I think is just right.

The tradition of pumpkin pie may date back to the first Thankgiving feast in 1621 (or some say the second Thanksgiving feast). In either case, most likely milk, honey, and spices were poured inside the pumpkin itself. The first pies probably came out more like pudding than like the custard fillings that we use today.

Start by assembling ingredients: 3/4 cup heavy cream, 3/4 cup whole milk, 1 can pumpkin (2 cups), 1 cup dark brown sugar, 3 large eggs, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Fresh pumpkin can be used, but it must be cooked first (usually by cutting the pumpkin into pieces and baking in the oven). Its becoming increasingly difficult to find good pumpkins in supermarkets since the ones sold for carving dominate the shelves (or bins) and just aren't that good for eating. Save some time and trouble, buy the canned pumpkin. We'll cook the canned pumpkin briefly with the spices, so it'll be difficult to taste or smell any difference between the canned pumpkin and the fresh for this pie.
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Prepare a pie crust or defrost a frozen pie crust. Using a fork, punch holes into the dough so it won't rise while prebaking. If using pie weights, this step is unnecessary. Prebake the pie crust according to directions or at 400°F for about 10 minutes.
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Meanwhile, whisk pumpkin and spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt) together over medium heat in a medium sauce pan. When the pumpkin begins to cook, whisk in the brown sugar.
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Once the mixture is fully blended, scrape the sides of the saucepan down and whisk again.
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Add milk and cream and continue to whisk.
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Once the mixture begins to bubble and splutter, remove from heat.
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Place the three eggs into a blender.
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Blend the eggs to form a nice creamy consistency (about two seconds).
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While blending on low speed, pour the pumpkin pie filling through the feeder hole in the blender cap. This will help break down any fibrous or tough parts of pumpkin creating a smooth filling.
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Pour the pumpkin pie filling into the prebaked crust. If you used a deep dish pie crust, this should fit perfectly. I used a "normal" pie crust, so there was about a cup of filling left over, which can be made into pumpkin custards by filling ramekins. Bake at 400°F for 25 minutes or until center of pie is jiggly when pie is rotated gently.
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Remove from heat and let cool on a cooling rack for at least one hour. The center will fully set without over cooking the outer edges by removing the pie early. Refrigerate and serve cold, warmed up, or at room temperature.

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Pumpkin Pie (serves 8)
Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C)
2 cups (490 g) pumpkinwhisk over mediumwhisk over mediumwhisk over mediumblendbake 400°F (205°C) 25 min.
1 tsp. (2 g) ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. (1 g) ground ginger
1/2 tsp. (1 g) ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. (0.5 g) ground cloves
1/2 tsp. (3 g) salt
1 cup (200 g) dark brown sugar
3/4 cup (180 mL) whole milk
3/4 cup (180 mL) heavy cream
3 large eggsblend
1 pie crustbake blind
Copyright Michael Chu 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is almost exactly the same way my mother makes it, and that pie never failed me. Nice post Smile

Also, wanted to mention that I think your blog is great, and please keep up the awesome work on it. Beyond just the dialog, I really like how you post your ingredients list at the end in sub-process format.

I look forward to reading much more of your experimentations.

-- Deightine
( Http://www.livejournal.com/users/deightine )
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jeremy
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had my first thanksgiving in the States last year - I spent it with an American family who was incredibly hospitable. It was a fantastic experience, one I will remember forever!

That day, I fell in love with pumpkin pie and vowed to find a recipe. Of course I never would really have done it, but now that it's come up on your site I've printed it and I think I'll make it next week in order to reminisce about my time in the States, and to share this tradition with some of my Australian friends.

Thanks so much!
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1606
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another tradition is to serve the pumpkin pie slices with a large dollop of freshly whipped cream. Often, the whipped cream is spiked with a little (or a lot) of brandy.

Just whip one cup of heavy cream until frothy. Add 2 Tbs. sugar and 2 Tbs. brandy and whip until stiff peaks. Scoop out a plop ontop or next to each slice of pumpkin pie.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few years ago I tried using fresh cooked butternut squash in place of the pumpkin for the filling. The squash seems to be naturally sweeter and less fibrous than even the canned pumpkin. Yum!
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Brian Arnold
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been reading for awhile, but I'm still a newbie when it comes to cooking - this might be my first real attempt. Awesome! Thanks for the recipe!
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jeremy
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had forgotten about that bit, Michael.

The family I was with didn't use fresh whipped cream, but had two brands of frozen whipped cream. They debated over which one they liked best, so they showed me both. Trouble was that they had forgotten to take either one out of the freezer.

The result: my pumpkin pie was served with two slices of frozen whipped cream, with the onlookers anxiously waiting to see not only whether or not I would like the pie, but whose brand of frozen whipped cream I preferred!
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phipps
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was wondering if you could switch out the heavy cream with condensed milk and still get the same results?
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1606
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

re: condensed milk

Using sweetened condensed milk would probably work. But the consistency will most likely be different. Condensed milk contains a huge amount of sugar, so you'll need to adjust the sugar in the rest of the recipe. Besides the sugar, condensed milk is just evaporated milk, quite a bit different from cream.


Last edited by Michael Chu on Sat Oct 15, 2005 3:47 am; edited 1 time in total
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Laura
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a great site! My husband and I love this approach to following recipes - it's so much easier! This looks like a great recipe, and I'm going to try it today. However, doesn't pre-baking the crust and then baking it with the pie cause it to burn? The instructions on the package say not to pre-bake it for these types of pies.
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Laura
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, Michael. Upon re-reading the directions for about the twentieth time, I realized I just need to thaw the thing out! Wish me luck with the pie today - looks like I'll need it!
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1606
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

re: prebaking the crust

If you don't prebake it, then the pie crust might be soggy after baking a pumpkin pie in it. It's probably more up to personal choice, but I prefer my crusts to have a little crispness to them. The extra ten minutes during blind baking shouldn't burn the crust.

Good luck!
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

chemical engineer from new orleans...

i was exposed to butternut squash pie while living in new jersey, and i loved it!!!!

i used your recipe but instead of using pumpkin, i used fresh butternut squash.

say, "goodbye" to pumpkin pie... to me, there's no comparison; the squash is a nice alternative..
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I need to know how long to bake the frest pumpkin.? I usually use canned pumpkin but my uncle gave me a pumpkin from his dad's field so I thought I would try it. Wish me luck.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The approximate (one to two significant figures) diameter of the crust is not specified. We are thus making the assumption that the crust interior radius is 4.5 inches (11.43 cm).
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