Monday, January 26, 2009

Adding pumkin to the pantheon

Ladies and Gentlemen, last week was national Pie Week.

Yes, week.

Pie is practically religion in my family (which is a subject for another post altogether), and yet, I did not know this. How did I not know this?

I did not know this when I set out to make an apple pie for an inauguration celebration.

Nor, when I followed that with a LONG overdue pecan pie for hubby.

And when I had enough time Sunday afternoon to make the pumpkin pie I've been wanting to try since Thanksgiving, odd national food holidays were far from my thoughts. But nevertheless, by the end of National Pie Week, I had made 3 pies. I haven't cooked that many pies since our Thanksgiving open-house last year! Coincidence?

Before I go on, I should share word about pumpkin pie.

I don't like it.

Admittedly, I've been able to get a few polite bites down with a smile at this or that Thanksgiving dinner, but rarely more than that.

Then I made this beauty....

...and I am converted. Converted!

Why would I make a pumpkin pie for myself if I really don't like it, you ask? Well, you see, I was curious. I love pumpkin in other things, e.g. cookies, cakes, breads, soup, etc. So why not pie, the crowning expression of baking? When I saw an article about using fresh pumpkin in pie...I had to see if that would make all the difference.

Oh glory it has! And now to the Pantheon of Pies in my family's little collection, I will add this glorious pumpkin pie. So you can enjoy it too, here's my variation on this recipe:

Pentecostal Pumpkin Pie
(It'll make you a believer)

1 sugar pumpkin, to yield 2 cups puree
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/4 nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp cardamom
2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
4 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup cream

1. Seed and cook pumpkin. Remove flesh. Put through a food mill to make it extra smooth, if you'd like.
2. Mix sugars, salt & spices. Add eggs and cream cheese. Mix well.
3. Add cream and pumpkin puree. Mix well, until smooth.
4. Pour into prepared, unbaked pie crust. (This will have to be the subject of yet another post.)
5. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes.
6. Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes.
7. Remove, cool and serve with cinnamon whipped cream.
8. Swear your devotion.

Hmmmmmmm.....If anyone can suggest a sacred text to accompany pumpkin pie, perhaps I could take it to rehearsal. Ideas?


Brenda said...

I thought Pi(e) day was March 14. you know, 3.14.... look yummy.

Amy said...

Really? National pie week? Thanks for the head's up. I'll mark my calendar!


I'm the only one who likes pumpkin pie! Guess if I make this I'll have to eat the hole thing myself! gotta try it.

Carol E. said...

Where did you get fresh pumpkin in January?

jude said...

boy, this sounds good. i have to try the fresh pumpkin.....when they are available here.