A great use for the inside of those pumpkins youâ€™ve turned into Lanterns. For best results, use â€˜Pie Pumpkinsâ€™ â€“ usually available from late September through to mid December. Theyâ€™re smaller, sweeter and have a more edible texture (less grainy than the lantern type). If you do want to use the Lantern type, add 25% more sugar, and blend for much longer after cooking.
1 cup Sugar
1.5 tsp ground Cinnamon
1 tsp ground Cloves
1 tsp ground All Spice
Â½ tsp ground Ginger
Â½ tsp Salt (optional)
4 large eggs
3 cups pumpkin puree (that youâ€™ll be making!)
1 Â½ cans of Evaporated Milk
Â½ tsp Vanilla Extract (optional)
1.Â Â Â Â Â Â Wash the exterior of the Pumpkin in cool or warm water â€“ with no soap, before cutting the pumpkin in half. For cutting the pumpkin, use a blade thatâ€™s serrated â€“ a bread knife, or a handsaw (as Iâ€™ve seen happen for large amounts of pumpkins!)
2.Â Â Â Â Â Â Remove the stringy substance and the seeds (keep the seeds for this recipe: roasted pumpkin seeds)
3.Â Â Â Â Â Â Cook the Pumpkin. You can steam it, microwave it or bake it until soft. Iâ€™d recommend microwaving it â€“ the simplest way of doing it. Start off with fifteen minutes, and add more time in small increments â€“ it might take twenty or thirty minutes
4.Â Â Â Â Â Â Scoop out the cooked pumpkin. It should be soft enough to scoop with a large smooth spoon (like a tablespoon). If cooked well enough, and in large enough chunks, it should be able to be peeled off with just your hands. If thereâ€™s any standing water, you might want to let it set for thirty minutes, before pouring any excess off of the pulp.
5.Â Â Â Â Â Â Puree the Pumpkin. This is where you need to add any extra sugar (if youâ€™ve used a Lantern Pumpkin). Use a handheld blender to make sure that there are no lumps, and that itâ€™s a constant, smooth satiny texture. It should take around two or three minutes, depending on the amount of Pumpkin.
6.Â Â Â Â Â Â Make the pie crust. You can either make a shortbread pie crust, or buy one from the store. Pre-heat the oven to 210 C or 425 F
7.Â Â Â Â Â Â Mix the remaining ingredients using a hand blender or mixer.
8.Â Â Â Â Â Â Pour the pie mix until itâ€™s 1cm (1/2 inch from the top of the dish). Donâ€™t worry if it looks very runny.
9.Â Â Â Â Â Â Bake the pie at 210 C for the first fifteen minutes, and then turn down to 175 C or 350 F, and bake for another forty five Â to sixty minutes â€“ until a clean knife inserted into the centre of the pie comes out clean.
10.Â Â Enjoy! Serve warm or chilled. Whipped Cream, Ice Cream or on itâ€™s own, itâ€™s a beautiful pie â€“ and goes very well with coffee!
Photo courtesy of Maggie Hoffman