Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Classic Pumpkin Pie

An old-fashioned favorite!

I guess you could call this the most traditional of all holiday pies, smooth and mildly spiced with the flavors of Autumn.  My family looks forward to this pie every Thanksgiving!   Now, if pumpkin isn't your favorite, try using it's cousin, mashed sweet potatoes.

My memory is going back to one particular Thanksgiving, when my daughter-in-law was staying with us.  This precious girl wanted to learn everything she could, and followed me around the kitchen so closely that if I stopped short, she bumped into me.   It was, and still is, one of the most treasured times in our lives.   Anyway, it was time to make the Pumpkin Pie for the holiday.  Linda was right there, asking questions, drinking in all my baking "wisdom"..ahem!

We all sat down to a wonderful holiday dinner and made sure to save room for that pie!   Linda and I passed out pieces of it to our anxiously awaiting sure they were going to savor every bite.  My daughter took her piece and said, "What's wrong with this pie?  It tastes different."  Uh oh, time to test it ourselves.  Well it turned out that in all my "teaching" Linda, I forgot to add the sugar.  But, guess what?  They just put more sweetened whipped cream on and ate it anyway.   Now, that's a "sugar-free" pie!  We still laugh about it, too, and someone always asks, "Did you remember the sugar, Mom?"  Wise guys!

Ingredients for a 9" pie:

Pastry for 9" One-crust pie (use Mom's Flaky Pastry.  Recipe below)
2 eggs
1 can (1 lb.) pumpkin (2 cups)  Do not use Pumpkin Pie Filling
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 2/3 c. evaporated milk or light cream

Heat oven to 425'F.  Prepare pastry and line 9" pie plate; place on a cookie sheet to catch any spills and set aside.  Beat eggs, slightly until light in color; add remaining ingredients.  Pour into pastry-lined pie pan.  Carefully place in oven.  Bake 15 minutes.

If edges are getting too dark, cover them all around with aluminum foil.

Reduce oven temperature to 350'F.  Bake for 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool.  Serve with or without whipped cream.

Mom's Flaky Pastry:

2 c. flour
1 c. shortening
1 tsp. salt
3-4 Tbsp. cold water

Combine flour, shortening and salt; cut with a pastry cutter or fork until it looks like coarse meal.  Then add water (start with 3 Tbsp.) then if it's still dry add more, 1 Tbsp. at a time.  Divide in half, this makes 2, 9" bottom crusts, or a top & bottom.  Roll out on floured surface, using enough flour so the dough won't stick.

You'll need a top and bottom for the Apple Pie.  And if you don't feel ready to try crust yet, just use the Pillsbury ones, they're all ready for you to just roll out.

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time."   - 1 Peter 5:6

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