Pumpkin Pie – from scratch

I’ve never really loved pumpkin pie until I started experimenting with a recipe from the “Recipe Cottage,” which a co-worker shared with me. After some tweaking, I found that I really enjoyed the creamy texture and strong pumpkin flavor of this pie. The added bonus is that this version does not call for extra butter, cream cheese, or heavy cream, unlike other pumpkin pie recipes I’ve read.

1 medium pie pumpkin, enough to yield 2 cups cooked, drained pumpkin
2 egg yolks + 1 whole egg
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cups of whole milk
one pinch of salt
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
9-inch pie pan filled with your favorite crust
(I use an all-butter frozen pie shell but you can make one from scratch if you prefer.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the pumpkins in half and scoop out seeds and slimy stuff. Place them cut-side down on a baking sheet (preferably one with a lip to catch liquid) and roast in the middle of the oven for one hour. Remove and let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, blind-bake the pie shell according to the recipe or package directions. Set the shell aside to cool, and turn the oven up to 425 degrees F.

When the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, peel off the rind and discard. Take a handful of pumpkin at a time and squeeze it hard to get as much liquid out as possible. Place the drained pumpkin in a food processor or blender and process until smooth, stirring as necessary. Add a small amount of the milk from the recipe to get things moving in the processor if the pumpkin is too dry.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and then add the sugar, maple syrup, salt and spices. Mix until the sugar has dissolved. Be sure the pumpkin is cooled to room temperature before measuring two cups and adding that to the egg/sugar mixture (to avoid cooking the eggs). Mix well. Next, add 3/4 cup of milk and mix. If it looks like there will be more room in your pie shell, or the filling is too thick, add a little more milk and mix again.

Pour the pie filling into the pre-baked pie shell and bake at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 375 and bake for another 30 minutes, or until the custard is firm and the crust has darkened. Cool and serve with home-made whipped cream or ice cream.