gramma's punkin pie

it's been almost two years since we lost grandma. i miss her, but i'm constantly reminded of her through the things she left behind--most notably, her recipes.

grandma never cared for ginger or cloves and she had her own flair for pumpkin pie. it's the only recipe i ever ate growing up and other pies just never really cut the mustard for me, so i had to learn how to make my own.

last year a very good friend gave my children a pick of a pumpkin from her pumpkin patch. then another dear friend taught me how to prepare them for the freezer. unfortunately for my very anxious children, we never got around to using them until yesterday.

i decided we'd make pies and it turned out to be an interesting event. i didn't feel all that well yesterday--exhausted to be sure, but i had promised and the pumpkin was already thawed. i knew if i let it go to waste, i'd never be able to face my sweet babies, so i trudged on...(LOL)

i got everything cleaned up and began to get the ingredients out when i realized we have no lard. i have always used lard (or shortening) to make crust and this was task #1. butter! but i've never made a butter crust. i love to try new things but not on a day when thinking is a chore.

i called another friend--my pastry queen--and she said butter would work fine but she wasn't sure how to go about soaking whole wheat due to the limited amount of liquids and fats that go into a crust. another thing i wasn't feeling like thinking about.

i sat down at the computer--another setback that had the kids dancing circles around me wondering when we were REALLY gonna start making pies. google was kind enough to point me to several butter crust recipes and they all agreed that the crust must be mixed and then chilled for at least an hour before being rolled out. hmmmm...setback #3.

so, the kid's shoulders slumped and they began to fight with one another and i dragged my weary butt (pathetic huh?) into the kitchen. i decided to use white flour (the monster you know). i had just bought some in case of a baking emergency. i mixed the crust up in the food processor and then stuck it in the fridge.

okay, then i start looking in the cabinets for the necessary ingredients for the filling. cinnamon, check. vanilla, check. sugar, check. nutmeg--crud, not enough nutmeg. gotta have nutmeg. setback #4. now everyone has to actually get out of their pajamas (yes we cook in pajamas) and run to walmart in the freezing dreary weather. *sigh*

we got to walmart, got some nutmeg and some houseshoes for dad (his were full of holes and covered with duct tape) and headed home.

now we have everything we need. yippeee!

so, now i begin to measure the pumpkin and i realize the pumpkin is chunky, almost hole and it's nothing like the stuff in a can which i am used to using. setback #5. i called yet another friend (the one who helped me the year before) and she barely remembered (she's like me) that she had helped me with this before. she suggested that i would need to cook it. she began to explain that i needed to cook it until i could put a fork through it. this made my eyebrows knit, because i could already do that. hmmmm...then i reminded her that i had put it in the oven to get the skin off before i froze it and she went AHA...oh yeah...all you need do is beat the tar out of it in a blender or something. oh good...that's easy.

so i hang up the phone and throw the pumpkin in the food processor and it turns out very nice. we get the filling mixed up.

we had previously (when we got home from walmart) taken the crusts out to warm up a bit as per the instructions. we went on to roll them out. i was particulary satisfied with the results as the crust was very easy to peel from the pie crust placemat (tupperware). no tears or breaks. the kids helped me put them into the pans, poke holes and edged both crusts.

i then poured in the filling that the kids had prepared a bit before and stuck them in the oven. no more setbacks and i was just thrilled that it was over.

once the pies were done, the kids could barely contain themselves, so we at some while it was still hot enough to melt the coolwhip . you could actually taste the melted butter in the crust.

i've never had butter on a crust, much less on pumpkin pie and it was definately different, but rich and sassy.

we then had a cold piece this morning for breakfast (i love leftover dessert). terrific. the crust is sooooooo flakey--never had anything quite like it.

anyway, it just seemed appropriate that i share this wonderful experience and the recipes with my friends. hope you like it as much as we do.

  • *2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • *1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (mine was already in the freezer where i keep it)
  • *1 teaspoon salt
  • *1 teaspoon sugar
  • *4 to 8 Tbsp ice water (it only took 4)

1. cut butter sticks into 1/2 slices and place in freezer for at least 15 minutes (mine was already frozen, so i skipped this part).
2. combine, flour, salt and sugar in food processor and blend.
3. add butter and and pulse a few times until the mixture resembles pea sized crumbs.
4. add water 1 T at a time and pulse until dough begins to stick together. (if you can take some dough in your fingers and it sticks, it's done. if it falls apart, then add more water and pulse again.)
5. turn dough out onto clean surface. knead enough to make all dough stick together. divide in half and make small flat circles (about 5 inches diameter).
6. wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour and for up to 2 days.
7. take chilled dough from the fridge and allow to warm for about 10 minutes.
8. roll out on floured surface or on tupperware dough mat (i didn't need extra flour with my mat.)
9. place into pie pans.
10. edge and poke holes in bottom with fork.
recipe from http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/perfect_pie_crust/

*2 eggs (I used 3 small farm eggs because i had extra pumpkin and the eggs were pretty small)
*2 3/4 cups fresh processed pumpkin (or 16 oz of canned pumpkin)
*3/4 cup sugar
*1 tsp salt
*2 tsp cinnamon
*1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
*1/2 tsp nutmeg
*1/2 tsp allspice
*2 tsp vanilla
*24 oz evaporated milk (2 cans)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Beat eggs lightly in large bowl.
3. Stir in all remaining ingredients (save 1/2 tsp nutmeg) in order.
4. Pour into uncooked 9" deepdish shells.
5. Sprinkle remaining nutmeg over top of both pies.

Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and cook for 40-50 minutes or until knife inserted in middle comes out clean.

1 remarks: on "gramma's punkin pie"

Anonymous said...

Hey HB!
One of my friends taught me how to make pumpkin pie mix that you freeze, so making a pie is super fast. After you get your pumpkin pureed, measure out how much you have, and then go ahead and add all the dry ingredients for that amount of pies. Then you bag it, freeze it, and when you're in the mood for a pie, you thaw and just add the eggs and milk. There is just nothing like homemade punkin' pie!

disclaimer:  caution must be taken when reading my blog.  i'm a new creature and the Lord continues to mold and shape me through his will.  older entries may seem to contradict the newer ones.  there's a pretty good chance that they do for two reasons.  first, because of my nature, as i strive for perfection, i will continue to fall short of the mark and should therefore be thankful for his grace and should seek his (and your) forgiveness for having been so foolish in the past.   second, i continue to grow in him; and as changes are made, i have made attempts to change my blog to reflect those changes. in this event, please refer to #1.   if you're interested in perfection, my blog isn't the place to be.  pick up a king james bible (yup, i'm one of THOSE people) and read his PERFECT word.