I’m blessed to work with so many organic farms in Pescadero, California who grow such beautiful winter squash that the thought of using anything out of a can is just, well, unthinkable. I don’t find that making pumpkin pie from scratch takes much more effort than making it from the can but the flavor is a million times better.
Take your baking pumpkin, slice it in quarters, scoop the seeds out (reserve and toast separately), stick pumpkin wedges on a baking sheet, pop in the oven, and roast at 450˚F for 20 minutes until soft while making the pie crust. That’s it, that’s all! Well of course you’ve got to mash the pumpkin and add the eggs, cream, and spices but that part’s easy.
There are many varieties of pie pumpkins out there. Sweetie Pie and Sugar Pie are my favs. I also like Durst but the flesh is a little stringier than the other two and it’s not quite as sweet so up the sugar. Blue Ballet or Blue Hubbard are incredible if you can find them and go straight to the top of the list. To cut either of the blue varieties (called ‘blue’ because their flesh is blue-ish in color) pick them up and throw them on the ground hard to split them apart – there’s just no cutting through them with a serrated knife. It’s a great stress reliever around the holidays.
I don’t add much to the filling. No evaporated milk or condensed milk. Just cream, sugar, eggs, and spices.
- 1 Single Crust Pie Crust
- 1 baking pie pumpkin (Sweetie Pie, Sugar Pie, Durst, or Blue Ballet or Blue Hubbard)
- 1 1/2 cups cream
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- 2 pinches ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated young ginger
- 1/2 orange zested
- 1 cup sugar (sometimes more if the pumpkin is not sweet at all)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 425˚F
Roll out 1 flaky all butter pie crust, line the pie shell and flute the edges, prick the bottom with a fork, and stick it in the freezer while making the filling. I like my own recipe and I make the full amount even though it's meant for a double crust because I use glass pie dishes that are wider than the regular tin type.
Roast the pumpkin wedges on a rimmed baking sheet wiht a 1/4 cup of water for 20 minutes or until soft. Allow to cool, remove the skin, then mash with a potato masher and add sugar, spices, ginger, orange zest, and cream. Taste and adjust with sugar if need be. Lightly whisk the eggs separately and then add to the pumpkin mixture, whisking to incorporate.
Put a baking sheet in the oven to get hot. Then pour pumpkin filling into pie shell and place on the hot baking sheet. This will help the bottom cook faster.
Bake at 425˚F for 15 minutes, then turn down the heat and cook for another 45 minutes at 350˚F. The pie is done when it is poofed slightly and the filling is set all but a dime size jiggly amount in the center. Remove to a cooling rack and allow to completely cool before slicing. I like to refrigerate for at least an hour after cooling to completely set the filling.