Thursday, December 5, 2013

Pumpkin Pie

                                                                                  

A few things are as synonymous with the holiday season as anything Pumpkin-flavored. At least that's the case here in the US. Of all the pumpkin eats here, the most popular is the pumpkin pie. As a child growing up in Kenya, I frowned upon the thought of eating pumpkin. At my house it was cooked in one way-steamed. Whenever I knew pumpkin was on the menu, I would think up ways to avoid eating. My excuses didn't fly with my Mom though. When we were younger, if it was put on your plate, you were eating it. ALL of it. So when offered a slice of pie for the first time in the US, I placed the first forkful in my mouth with great trepidation. I was a guest at a friend's and did not want to be rude, so I obliged. When my taste-buds  thanked me profusely for indulging them on that day, I went on a personal crusade to spread the good word that pumpkin can be enjoyed in many ways. In the spirit of giving that goes with the holiday season, here's a pumpkin pie recipe that you'll be sure to enjoy:


Serving Size: Feeds 6-8 sufficiently.


Special Equipment:

-A 9-inch oven safe pie plate (could be glass, ceramic or disposable aliminium).

-Pie crust protector or aluminum foil (see image below).

                                                                                      


Ingredients:

-1 homemade pie crust (see my post on pie-crust) or store bought.

-1 15Oz. Pure pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling). Can't find pumpkin purée in your area? See my post on homemade pumpkin purée.

-1/2 cup heavy cream (double cream).

-1/2 cup evaporated milk (NOT sweetened, condensed milk).

-2 large eggs, well beaten.

-3/4 cups granulated sugar (regular sugar).

-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.

-1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional).

-1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg.

-1/4 teaspoon ground cloves.

-1/4 teaspoon salt.

                                                                                                                               

 

Instructions:

-Pregeat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

-Roll out your pie crust, drape it over your pie plate and crimp decoratively. If using a store-bought pie crust, prepare it according to package instructions.

-In a large bowl, combine everything (except the pie crust of course ;) ).

-Pour the prepared filling into the prepared pie crust. Gently place the decorative crust cutouts on the surface of the unbanked pie as shown bello (optional).

                                                                                         

-Use your pie crust protector to cover the crust so it doesn't brown too fast. Alternatively. Use aluminum foil carefully foiled around the pie crust for the same purpose.

-place your pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet and place this on the center rack of your oven.

-Bake at 425 degrees F  for 15-20 minutes.

-Reduce the heat to 375 degrees F and continue baking for 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

-When done, cool your pie on a cooling rack.


TIP: If using homemade pie crust, use scraps of crust left over after trimming the overhang, to make decorative cut-outs that you can place over the pie filling before baking. Brush these cut outs with milk to keep them from burning as the pie bakes.


Serving Suggestions:

Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream.