A great use for the inside of those pumpkins you’ve turned into Lanterns. For best results, use ‘Pie Pumpkins’ – usually available from late September through to mid December. They’re smaller, sweeter and have a more edible texture (less grainy than the lantern type). If you do want to use the Lantern type, add 25% more sugar, and blend for much longer after cooking.
1 cup Sugar
1.5 tsp ground Cinnamon
1 tsp ground Cloves
1 tsp ground All Spice
½ tsp ground Ginger
½ tsp Salt (optional)
4 large eggs
3 cups pumpkin puree (that you’ll be making!)
1 ½ cans of Evaporated Milk
½ tsp Vanilla Extract (optional)
1. Wash the exterior of the Pumpkin in cool or warm water – with no soap, before cutting the pumpkin in half. For cutting the pumpkin, use a blade that’s serrated – a bread knife, or a handsaw (as I’ve seen happen for large amounts of pumpkins!)
2. Remove the stringy substance and the seeds (keep the seeds for this recipe: roasted pumpkin seeds)
3. Cook the Pumpkin. You can steam it, microwave it or bake it until soft. I’d recommend microwaving it – the simplest way of doing it. Start off with fifteen minutes, and add more time in small increments – it might take twenty or thirty minutes
4. Scoop out the cooked pumpkin. It should be soft enough to scoop with a large smooth spoon (like a tablespoon). If cooked well enough, and in large enough chunks, it should be able to be peeled off with just your hands. If there’s any standing water, you might want to let it set for thirty minutes, before pouring any excess off of the pulp.
5. Puree the Pumpkin. This is where you need to add any extra sugar (if you’ve used a Lantern Pumpkin). Use a handheld blender to make sure that there are no lumps, and that it’s a constant, smooth satiny texture. It should take around two or three minutes, depending on the amount of Pumpkin.
6. Make the pie crust. You can either make a shortbread pie crust, or buy one from the store. Pre-heat the oven to 210 C or 425 F
7. Mix the remaining ingredients using a hand blender or mixer.
8. Pour the pie mix until it’s 1cm (1/2 inch from the top of the dish). Don’t worry if it looks very runny.
9. Bake the pie at 210 C for the first fifteen minutes, and then turn down to 175 C or 350 F, and bake for another forty five to sixty minutes – until a clean knife inserted into the centre of the pie comes out clean.
10. Enjoy! Serve warm or chilled. Whipped Cream, Ice Cream or on it’s own, it’s a beautiful pie – and goes very well with coffee!
Photo courtesy of Maggie Hoffman