By Ginger Graham
We have a huge pumpkin patch at the farm. I love growing every variety I can find, and then letting grandkids and friends’ kids come find their own special pumpkin.
We use the pumpkins in many ways at here Ginger and Baker: we decorate the entire building for Fall; roast them for use in soups and dips and salads; blend them with oats and peanut butter for dog treats; and have all sizes, from minis to giant pumpkins for sale in the Market. But the best use for a New England pie pumpkin is in a fresh pumpkin pie.
We thought many of you might also want to roast fresh pumpkins and make your pumpkin pie from scratch this year. It is SO much better! And it really is easy. You simply roast the pumpkin now and freeze the purée until you need it for your pie. You can also make your pie crust and freeze it! Then all you have to do is defrost, mix, assemble and bake for Thanksgiving dinner.
- 1 par-baked pie shell (see below)
- 2 cups fresh pumpkin from one (3-4 lb.) roasted pie pumpkin (see below)
- 3 large eggs and 1 large egg yolk
- 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 tsp. G&B Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 3/4 tsp. salt
In a large bowl whisk together pumpkin purée, eggs, milk, cream and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together sugars, salt and spices. Add the sugar mixture to the pumpkin mixture and whisk until combined and smooth. Use filling immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week uncooked.
To bake the pie:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the par-baked crust on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (to prevent oven cleaning!!). Fill the crust with filling, to about 1/4” from the top. Bake 45-60 minutes, until the pie is just set and no longer jiggles. The pie will continue to set after baking. (Note: if crust is browning too much, cover crust edges with tin foil and continue baking.)
Cool completely and refrigerate. To serve, top with lightly sweetened whipped cream and enjoy!
Roasting Pumpkin for Puree
Preheat oven to 375°F. Take a small pumpkin, about 3 1/2 pounds, wash it, split it down the middle and scoop out the seeds. Put parchment paper on a cookie sheet pan and lay the pumpkins cut-side down. Roast for about 35 minutes, or until you can take a dinner fork and easily pierce the pumpkin.
Remove and let the pumpkin halves cool to the point you can handle them. Scoop the flesh out of the pumpkin with a spoon and put it in a blender or food processor. Blend until very smooth.
Dump pureed pumpkin into a fine mesh strainer or colander positioned over a big bowl. You want the pumpkin to drain or your pie will be too wet. I let it set on the counter for a couple of hours. You should end up with about 2 cups of purée, any leftover is great in muffins, dog treats or smoothies.
Ginger and Baker Traditional Pie Dough
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 8 oz. butter (2 sticks), cubed into small pieces and frozen
- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- ~3 oz. ice water
Combine flour, sugar and salt. Either use your food processor and pulse the butter in, or use a fork and knife, “cutting” the butter into the flour mixture. Combine water and vinegar and slowly add liquids to the dry mixture until it can be gathered together and formed into a ball. Shape into a round disc, wrap in plastic wrap and put in the freezer if you are making it for future use, or refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour, if using the same day. (I recommend making the dough at least the day before and sticking it in your fridge to rest. It is SO much easier to roll out!!)
If frozen, be sure to put it in the fridge to defrost for a day. If straight out of the fridge, flour your surface and roll into a circle about 3-4” bigger than your pie pan. Line your pie pan with the dough and crimp the edges.
Par-bake pie shell: Freeze crust for 60 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line crust with parchment paper and fill with dry beans, raw rice or pie weights. Bake for about 15 minutes until edges of crust are very lightly browned. Remove parchment and weights and set aside. Poke bottom of crust a few times with a fork. Return to oven (without parchment and weights) and bake for another 5 minutes until bottom crust is just starting to brown. Cool.