Tag Archives: recipe

Roasted Pumpkin Pie

Standard
pumpkinpies

Last year’s pies made from home grown organic pumpkin made into pumpkin pies

Every year my sons (and daughter when she is here) declare that my pumpkin pie is the best in the world. I must confess: it is delicious.

Yesterday, after forgetting to get celery and pumpkin pie fixins’ I was planning out my Monday shopping trip to pick up the items I forgot yesterday.

My 20-year-old son buys organic pumpkin puree and keeps it in the pantry as a reminder that he wants me to make pumpkin pies whenever I can.

But I don’t use canned pumpkin puree in my pies.

I use something better: roasted sugar pumpkin.

pumpkin

Sugar pumpkin ripening

And then it hit me; it is the roasting of the pumpkin that gives it that rich, most amazing flavor.

The years that I grew my own organic sugar pumpkins (above), of course, resulted in the best-tasting pies of all.

But this year I must locate a farm-grown sugar pumpkin for my Thanksgiving pies.

For those who don’t know, sugar pumpkins are a specific variety of pumpkin that has just what it says it has: more sugar in the flesh.

A few years ago I paid $.79 a pound for a sugar pumpkin. I have no idea what it will cost me this week.

Roasting a pumpkin

Prepare the pumpkin

Wash the entire outside of the pumpkin with room-temperature water and a vegetable brush. Dry with paper towels (or a clean cloth towel).

Cut the top of the pumpkin around the stem out, but not large as you would for carving a Jack-o-lantern. You want as much of the flesh to remain on the pumpkin as possible (it is precious, delicious, wondrous).

Cut the pumpkin in half down the center from top to bottom (not side to side). I use a large carving knife for this job.

Scrape out the seeds and strings, leaving as much flesh as you can. Do not be afraid of a few strings remaining.

Roasting time

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

 

  • Large baking dish (13×9 inch)
  • cup of water (or more so there is about 1/4 inch of water in baking dish)
  • 2 pumpkin halves

 

Pour water in baking dish and place pumpkin skin-side up, flesh facing down in the dish. (No need to oil the dish.)

Roast the pumpkin for an hour or more until the flesh is tender. It will change to a darker orange color throughout when it is completely cooked.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes (or until it is cool enough to handle).

Scoop out the flesh. It is easier than cutting off the skin which can result in wasted pumpkin (again, it is precious, delicious and wondrous).

Refrigerate until ready to use.

Pumpkin pies made with this roasted sugar pumpkin will knock your socks off. The recipe I use is below (comes from Joy of Cooking 1975 edition – a gift to me from my mom when I was 15 years old).

Pumpkin Pie

Makes one 9-inch pie (so I double the ingredients and make two pies, always).

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Pie shell (unbaked) in pie plate.
  • 2 cups cooked pumpkin
  • 1-1/2 cups cream, condensed milk or whole milk (I always use whole milk)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg or allspice (I use nutmeg)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 slightly beaten eggs

Directions using a mixer: Beat the cooked pumpkin first to break it down a little (I don’t puree it ). Combine all ingredients with a mixer. Pour mixture into pie shell(s) and follow the next part of the directions CAREFULLY:

Bake at 425 degrees F. for 15 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for 45 minutes more or until knife comes out clean.

Serve with fresh whipped cream (whip heavy cream adding in teensy bit of sugar and vanilla after the initial whipping).

Give roasted pumpkin pie a try and let me know what you think.

Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate, and Happy holidays to all!

[Use any leftover pumpkin to make pumpkin pancakes. Yummy!]

Potato and Cheddar Soup (with non-dairy alternative)

Standard

potatoesonion
Occasionally we just need a really fast dinner, something that comes together in less than an hour. And sometimes we need to go meatless. This soup is so hearty and filling that it is a great entree with a small salad or steamed broccoli. I have made my potato soup dairy free for years, and still do not add milk, but I have started adding cheddar cheese with delicious results. And if you just happen to have a few slices of cooked bacon, chop those up and put them in the final seasoning stage. Oh my!

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs organic potatoes — red or golden are best, peeled and cubed
  • 2 large or 3 medium onions, sliced
  • 2 cups grated organic mild or medium* cheddar cheese (optional)
  • 1-2 Tbsp organic butter or oil (optional)
  • 1-3 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried mustard powder
  • 2 cloves fresh organic garlic, minced

Putting it Together

  • In a large sauce pan or stock pot place potatoes and onions with just enough water to cover them; add 1-2 tsp salt
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook until very tender (approximately 20 minutes) — potatoes fall apart when a fork is inserted
  • Remove from heat (do not drain) and puree potatoes, onions and water using a hand blender (stick blender) until creamy. You can use a regular blender but be very careful as the soup is very, very hot and you will need to puree in several batches.
  • Add grated cheese and butter, and stir until melted.
  • Dairy-free or vegan version: omit the cheese and butter.
  • Season with salt, pepper, cumin, dried mustard powder, and fresh minced garlic to taste. Amounts listed are suggestions; you season your soup the way you like it. The fresh garlic adds a delicious kick. If you prefer, you can use granulated garlic powder (1/2 – 1 tsp). I use a wire whisk to incorporate seasonings.
  • Ladle into bowls and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Caution: hot soup can burn mouth — blow on each spoonful for the first few minutes.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with organic blue corn tortilla chips
  • Add a few slices of cooked bacon to soup in seasoning stage for another level of flavor
  • Delicious with grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, or just grilled cheese
  • A chewy, crunchy bread and fresh organic butter is perfect with each bowl.
  • Gently stir in small steamed broccoli florets to soup when finished for a bright green splash, or serve steamed broccoli on the side
  • Great with a crunchy raw veggie marinated salad: colorful bell peppers, red onions, cucumbers, broccoli florets, sugar snap peas, and for a Greek touch, feta cheese, all marinated in a delicious vinaigrette.

*Sharp cheddar cheese lends a slightly bitter taste to this soup. Although I do use sharp if that is all that I have I much prefer mild or medium cheddar. Of course, you can always experiment with other cheeses, or just use what is on hand. You don’t even need any cheese at all which is the way we ate potato soup for over 20 years. This soup is delicious dairy free!