I had never really loved pumpkin pie until I started experimenting with a recipe from The Recipe Cottage, which a former co-worker shared with me. After some tweaking, I found that I really enjoyed the creamy texture and strong pumpkin flavor of this version of an American classic.
1 medium pie pumpkin (or other sweet orange vegetable), enough to yield 2 cups cooked and drained
2 egg yolks + 1 whole egg
1/2 cup maple syrup
2/3 cup whole milk
pinch of salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. dried ginger
1/2 tsp. allspice
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 completely. This step can be done ahead of time.
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 (or thawed, if you’re using frozen), 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 two cups of the drained pumpkin in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. 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 add the maple syrup, salt and spices. Add the pureed pumpkin and mix thoroughly. Next, add the 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 (but don’t open the oven!) to 375 and bake for another 40 minutes, or until the custard is firm and the crust has darkened. Cool and serve with home-made whipped cream or ice cream.