almond meal

Pumpkin Pie

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pie monster from here.

Pumpkin Pie From Scratch

I’ve been trying to suss a good recipe for pumpkin pie for a few years now, and it never seems to come out right. Making a decent pumpkin pie from scratch has proved to be pretty difficult, at least for me. Well, I think I got it this year. So I am going to document it here so I don’t ever forget it now that it’s come to me. I know that this is a big endeavor, and pumpkins have a relatively short season, so if anyone does take this recipe and make it, I would love to hear about it. Cheers!

Ingredients

Roasted Pumpkin

· 1 sugar pie pumpkin   · olive oil   · kosher salt

Pie Guts

· 1 pie crust (see below)   · 1/2 cup brown sugar   · 1 tbs cassia cinnamon   · 1/2 ts allspice   · 1/4 ts cloves   · 1ts ground ginger   · 1 ts salt   · 1tbs cornstarch   · 1 1/2 cups roasted pumpkin puree (see above)   · 1 1/2 ts vanilla extract   · 3 large eggs   · 1 cup coconut milk

Pie Dough

· 2 cups all purpose flour   · 1/2 cup almond meal · 1 1/2 sticks of butter   · 1 ts salt · 1/3 cup cold water, a bit more if needed once mixing

Roasted Pumpkin

First, make sure you have the right pumpkin. This won’t work with a larger on that you might carve. You want the smaller pumpkins, usually indicated as ‘pie’ pumpkins. The larger ones just don’t taste the same, and you won’t want to eat it.

I usually roast the pumpkin the day before I am going to make the pie, for no reason other than this takes awhile to make.

Preheat oven to 400º. *Carefully* cut the pumpkin into a few large wedges. Clean it out, and cut a few more times. Drizzle with olive oil and rub it all over the pumpkin. Sprinkle salt all over. The salt really brings out the taste, so feel free to go a bit nuts. Bake for a little over an hour. You should easily be able to poke the meat with a fork. When it’s done, let it cool a bit. Scoop out the meat and discard the skin. Now, I like to use a blender or food processor to turn the pumpkin into a smooth puree. Many recipes say to hand mash or use a hand blender. Both of these methods can leave stringy bits of pumpkin in the final pie. But mash it how you will. The extras can be made into soup, cupcakes, pancakes – there’s a lot you can do with pumpkin. Anyways, back to the pie…

Doh!

This is my favorite pie crust recipe to date. The almond meal can be made with a food processor – go at it until the pieces are very fine, or I found them conveniently in Trader Joe’s baking section. If you must forgo this bit, add another 1/2 cup of flour to the mix.

Dissolve the salt in the cold water. In a large bowl, cut in the shortening with the flour. Add the salted water and roll up your sleeves. I use my hands to mash this dough into a consistent blob. When it’s all mixed together, cover the top of the bowl and throw this in the fridge for 3-4 hours. Leave overnight if you wish, but take out a half hour before using so that the dough is more pliable.

Pi

Preheat the oven to 350º. Roll out the dough for your 9-10 inch pie. Press it into the pie plate. trim the edges, and pierce throughout with a fork. Set aside.

Blend everything for the pie guts together with a hand whisk or mixer, dry ingredients first, then wet. When smooth and well combined, pour into the pie plate. Cook for about 50 minutes. The measure of doneliness is that if you move the pie, the middle barely jiggles. Cool it for a couple of hours before you try to cut into it. And quit.

Notes

The pie dough was altered for this recipe. The actual amounts that I have written down are as follows: 5 cups pastry flour (or 4.5 all purpose) sifted, 3/4 lbs butter (3 sticks), 2 tsp salt, and 3/4 cup cold water. This makes *a lot* of dough though, so use this if you’re making more than one pie.