Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pumpkin Pie

Growing up, my family didn't eat pumpkin pie. None of the menfolk were fans, so it was never made. You could count on cherry, pecan, and buttermilk pies to be there at holiday time, but the traditional pumpkin was absent.

That changed when I married The Mr. He loves pumpkin pie.

This meant I had to learn to bake a pumpkin pie.

Yes, I could have just bought one. But that would be cheating. I was raised that food served during the holidays be made from scratch...especially the desserts.

I was neither the chef nor the baker for our first Thanksgiving. But I did get to taste a pumpkin pie (store bought).

I was not impressed.

The crust didn't match the spicy nature of the pumpkin. And the pie itself was soggy.

I was determined to improve upon the classic pumpkin pie. It took a few years of experimentation, but this is what I came up with.

Don't get too excited. It's simply a few minor tweaks to the original recipe.

Change #1: I use a graham cracker crust. Specifically a cinnamon graham cracker crust.

You can buy these ready made, but I find that they are really thin and taste oily.

It's almost as easy to make one. There are a zillion recipes for a graham cracker crust. I use the basic graham crackers+sugar+melted butter combo. I like a thicker bottom layer, so I throw a few extra crackers into the food processor. That's your call.

Now for the filling. I follow the recipe on the back of the can...with one minor change.

I reduce the amount of evaporated milk.

The recipe calls for 12 oz of milk. This caused the filling to look soupy and it took forever to bake through. I don't know exactly how much I use, but the filling should look more like apple sauce. Ever since I stopped using the full amount, my pies have set and the crust is never soggy.

Here is the finished product.

The Mr. deemed it the best pumpkin pie yet.

The Boy begged for a piece every night. There was no fighting over him eating all his vegetables.

The Girl told her preschool class that "Mommy's pumpkin pie is my most favoritest food." She even bragged that it was made from scratch.

And that's good enough for me.