Thanksgiving is coming up fast and the pumpkins are ready and waiting. In the grocery stores, at the patch and in your neighbor’s garden. Glorious, vibrant, orange and mouthwateringly beautiful curcubites count on a late harvest to flaunt their exquisite flavor. These special vegetables are happy to hold out until the thanksgiving holidays because they taste best mid-fall.
All summer long, delicious squash bid their time. While the peas ripen and the beans beg to be picked, patient pumpkins contentedly sit and dream about being made into soups, pies and custards. The pumpkin is native to North America and has been cultivated by the First Nations Peoples since the time before corn. European settlers received instruction in the art of the pumpkin thanks to the First Nations Peoples and it is a documented fact that pumpkins were served at the second Thanksgiving celebration. Since time immemorial, Pumpkins have always been fall’s fruit!
Pumpkin pie filling made from those big orange garden delights is earthy, luxurious and easier than you’d think.
For this mouthwatering recipe start with a medium sized pumpkin.
Preheat oven to 350F
Slice the pumpkin across the ‘equator’ so that you have two halves. Scoop out the seeds and the pulp and then set the pumpkins, cut side down on a baking dish. Place into a pre-heated oven at 350F and bake for 20-30 minutes- until the pumpkin flesh depresses easily when poked with a finger. Either let the pumpkin cool at this point, or if you can’t wait (and I never can) put on some dish gloves and proceed to scoop the pumpkin meat/glop away from the shell and into a mixing bowl.
Keep your oven on if you plan on making custard or pies right away.
Blend the glop with a immersion blender or a food processor for the smoothest result. Now, to make that glop into pumpkin pie filling, simply combine the following ingredients.
1 c. sugar
1 can condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 Tbsp fresh ground ginger or 1 tsp dried
1/4 tsp salt
Blend well and then pour into your pie shells OR into ramekins for custard.
For custard, place ramekins filled with pumpkin into a casserole dish. Pour hot water into the dish so that it surrounds the ramekins halfway up. Cover the casserole dish with foil and bake at 350F for 30 minutes.