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Cooking with Larry: homemade pumpkin pie

If you've read any of my cooking posts, you know I like to get a little wacky in the kitchen. For years I tried to finagle with homemade pumpkin pie to make it more creative and give it some more pizzazz, but some recipes are perfect the way they are, and I believe pumpkin pie is one of them.If you want to make a recipe better, sometimes all you have to do is look at the quality of the ingredients that you're using. I did exactly that and asked myself this question, "Why am I using canned pumpkin?"

The first time I used real pumpkin for this recipe, I knew I could never go back to using glop in a can. It was like someone breathed new pumpkiny life into my pie. The flavor is so enhanced and I instantly became a pumpkin pie snob.

First thing's first: you don't HAVE to use a pumpkin in pumpkin pie. I've used all different types of squash. Sometimes I even do a squash and pumpkin combo. It's fun to play around and achieve slightly different flavors. In the recipe below, I used a cheese pumpkin that I picked up from the Irvington Farmers Market.

Opening up a pumpkin is not that hard. I use a complete neanderthal technique. I take a meat cleaver, smash it through the pumpkin and then remove the seeds. It's not as messy as it sounds.

homemade pumpkin pie

For more information on how to open a pumpkin, check out this video.

Once you've taken the seeds out of the pumpkin, paint the skin with some oil and lay the pumpkin, flesh side up, on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or so, or until the meat of the pumpkin is fork tender. Once the meat is fork tender, remove the pumpkin, let it cool, remove the skin and puree the softened insides. Now you have pumpkin puree.

Now it's time to make some pie.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar (feel free to play around with other natural sweeteners like honey or all natural maple syrup)
  • 1.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1.5 cans (12oz each) of evaporated milk

From here, there ain't nothin' to it but to do it. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and let the machine run 'til everything is mixed nicely. I used my Vitamix blender, but other high powered blenders should also work. Pour the mixture into a pie crust and let it bake for 45-60 minutes at 350 degrees.

You can use store-bought pie crust, but it's pretty easy to make your own. I do this:

Pie Crust

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup of smashed pecans
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup coconut oil (or melted butter)
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Mix everything up and press into a pie pan. Pretty easy.

homemade pumpkin pie

If you use this recipe, you can have a 100% true and bonafide homemade pumpkin pie. Let me know about your successes, or failures, if you decide to give it a shot!

About the Author: Larry is a friend of House Party. Larry currently resides in the East Bay region of California. He enjoys all things wine related, and spends a lot of his free time in Napa and Sonoma learning about wine. Larry is also a Mixed Martial Arts enthusiast. He enjoys practicing, watching, analyzing and commentating on all things MMA. Larry also enjoys cooking, fine dining, entertaining and hanging out with Maximus, his Jack Russell Terrier.

 

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