Tag Archives: sugar pumpkin

Roasted Pumpkin Pie

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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!]

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June Garden Update – Part 3

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As a former web developer, I am not a fan of “click here” notices. But, I am not sure all of my visitors know that they can click on each of the photos and then click again for closeups. Just letting you know.

After the rain stopped I joyfully headed out to the garden to check for damage and drowning plants. As mentioned in my last post, I was thrilled to find that none of my plants drowned. But some were a little beat up. I spent about an hour staking my delicate front garden tomato plants until they are tall enough to be supported by the string I will run between all three supports. Then this morning, after all of that work I realized that I just need to add horizontal sticks at lower and higher levels so I can run string at other heights. Oh well, at least the plants aren’t laying down in the dirt, half buried and looking sad anymore. Now they are upright and sad-looking. The plum tomatoes are the plants that seem to be really viney. Instead of forming a nice, strong central stem they laid down from the beginning. As I learned last year, you do NOT want your tomatoes sprawling on the ground. Slugs and moisture are not conducive to a good tomato harvest. I learned this the hard way.

As expected, this garden space is not thriving due to less-than-adequate sunlight. I will be begging my son to get a friend or two to come help us take down at least 6 trees blocking light to this and the backyard garden.

Front garden fertlized, tomatoes supported, and wishing for more sunlight in this spot.

Front garden fertlized, tomatoes supported, and wishing for more sunlight in this spot.

The terraced garden has been transformed for summer. I removed the two largest Aichi Chinese cabbage plants to make more room for the tomato and pepper plants. I must create supports for the tomatoes today. Having those broccoli plants behind the tomatoes complicates the situation a little bit. Although not thought out well, they are thriving so I really want the broccoli they will produce. If they weren’t in that spot I would create a trellis out of sticks and place it behind all of the tomato plants. Actually, that still might work. I am afraid of completely shading the broccoli.

Terraced garden in summer mode.  Tomatoes, peppers with broccoli growing in the background.

Terraced garden in summer mode. Tomatoes, peppers with broccoli growing in the background.

Oh so lovely Bartlett pears a little over an inch long

Oh so lovely Bartlett pears a little over an inch long

Pumpkin growth was substantial over the last few days

Pumpkin growth was substantial over the last few days

The pumpkin vines are about ready to jump over the sides of their bed so they can venture forth. Pretty soon that raised bed will look like a giant spider.

Sugar pumpkin

Sugar pumpkin

Cocozelle Di Napoli Squash

Cocozelle Di Napoli Squash

Russet and red potatoes in grow bags

Russet and red potatoes in grow bags

The back garden is healthy and full of promise. I vigilantly check my squashes for vine borers and squash bugs. I am trying to decide what I want to plant in the garlic bed once the garlic has been harvested. Maybe more broccoli since we love it so much! Aichi Chinese cabbage, dwarf bok choy and spinach will go in there as well, I think.

I side-dressed the eggplant, peppers and ground cherry plants. Today I will side-dress the yellow squash plants since they seem to be a little sluggish compared to the Cocozelle Di Napoli squash on the left of the far bed (with the trellis).

Happy gardening!