It’s that time of year again. As we get closer and closer to Halloween, people are decorating their homes, picking out costumes, stocking up on tons of candy and, of course, carving pumpkins.
So, what better way to get into the Halloween mood than by making a pie with the holiday’s official vegetable? Here is a simple recipe for pumpkin pie, made from scratch.
Instead of simply buying my pumpkin at the nearest market, I decided to go to Quinn Farm, located on l’Ile Perrot. They had a huge selection of pumpkins; from small ones, to flat ones, some with a wart-like texture. If you are making a pie, the best kind is a sugar pumpkin, but a regular one will do the trick too (that’s what I used).
At Quinn Farm, pumpkins cost $0.40 per pound for pumpkins and $1.00 per pound for squash. You must also pay an admission fee, which is $2 a person between October 15th and 31st. It’s a really fun way to spend the day, especially with your family.
Pumpkin pie is a great way to eat dessert without feeling guilty. You are just getting your portion of veggies! According to the Huffington Post, the bright orange color is a sign that the vegetable is full of beta-carotene, an antioxidant which helps the body retain vitamin A. Current research shows that a diet containing high amounts of beta-carotene can help reduce someone’s chance of having certain types of cancer, and also helps protect from heart disease. So don’t be shy, help yourself to another serving!
Here are the steps to making the pie. This recipe was inspired by Mark Bittman, the author of “How to Cook Everything: The Basics.”
Pie crust ingredients
One packet of Graham crackers, crushed
3/4 cup of melted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 cups fresh pumpkin purée (made from a fresh pumpkin, not the can!)
3/4 cup of cooking cream
Whipped cream (for topping)
Baking the pumpkin will take about an hour, so make sure to start with that. Cut off the top of the pumpkin and empty out the seeds (but keep them for later!) Once the pumpkin is empty, cut it in quarters. Place them with the flesh side up on baking sheets. Cook the pumpkin in the oven at 350°F for about an hour, or until the pumpkin is soft. Once the pieces are cooked, take of the skin and make the purée with your food processor, or with a potato masher.
While the pumpkin is cooking, you can start making the crust. Crush the Graham cookies until they make a powder; a few chunks here and there is fine. Slowly add the butter and mix with a food processor or electric mixer. The dough should be moist, add more butter if needed. Remember that it has to stick to the plate. Then, flatten out the dough on your pie plate with your hands or a fork. Make sure that there is a lot of dough on the sides of the pie plate, because it will shrink the first time you put it in the oven.
Put the dough in the oven at 350°F for about 5-10 minutes, then let it out to cool.
Now for the filling. Beat the eggs, then add all the dry ingredients. Add the pumpkin purée, then the cream. Once the mixture is homogenous, pour it into the crust. Cook for 30-40 minutes at 350°F, until the filling is a jello-like consistency. It is best to refrigerate the pie overnight, but you can eat it once it has cooled. Throw some whipped cream on there and you will be in for a treat!
Overall, it took me about two hours to make the pie, from cutting up the pumpkin to taking my first bite. It is totally worth it; the pie was incredibly tasty, and nutritious too!