Last Fall, during the busiest part of harvest, I still had several smaller pie pumpkins left over. I hated to just throw them away but I didn’t have much time to mess with them either, so after doing a little research, decided to just cube them up into chunks and stick them raw into 1 gallon freezer bags.
Fast forward 2 months.
I decided to make a pumpkin pie out of the fresh pumpkin. There was more pie filling left over than could fit into my pie crust. Hated to just throw it away so I baked the excess filling in some little oven safe bowls. When it came time to eating the extra, I put a spot of cool whip on it, and honestly, it tasted just as good w/o the pie crust.
Fast forward another week.
On a lark, I pulled another gallon bag of fresh cubed pumpkin out of the freezer, this time, intentionally put all of it in oven safe cooking bowls. Had a half a dozen containers of various sizes, and all of it was gone within a couple of days.
Fast forward another week.
Made another batch of fresh pumpkin pie custard, this time dumped the whole 6 cups of pie filling into a 9 by 13 pan.
It is to die for.
It is a completely different animal than your store-bought pumpkin pie filling from a can. 10 times more tasty and has a unique texture that has really grown on me.
Here’s the deal. I am all about saving time and keeping it simple.
Blanch the pumpkin if you want at harvest time before freezing. (I’ve done both and have not noticed any difference in the finished product.)
Thought I would post this easy, made from scratch, fresh pumpkin pie filling recipe and share it with you. We are now in the middle of winter so I am pulling the cubed, frozen, pumpkin out of the freezer, wishing I had more.
Side note- Before I bagged the fresh cubed pumpkin, I froze the cubes on a cookie sheet over night, so they were not all clumped together when it came time to use it, in case I didn’t want to use the whole gallon at the same time. (In my case, I am using the whole gallon bag at a time. 1 gallon bag = about 6 cups once it is cooked and mashed down)
Fresh Pumpkin Pie filling
Remove frozen pumpkin from freezer, place in a large pot of water and cook it on low to medium heat. (covered) Normally, it starts to boil about an hour into the process. The goal is to let it come to a low boil for about 30 minutes. Total time from taking it out of the freezer to done boiling approx. 1 and 1/2 hours.
Drain off water..be careful, might want to let it sit for a little bit to cool off so you don’t get a face full of steam….
After water is drained off, you should have cooked pumpkin cubes ;-)
I have just been leaving the pumpkin in the large pot after I drain off the water, adding all the ingredients (which I will list in a second) then beat it with a beater for a couple of minutes on high. Totally a preference thing here in terms of texture. If you have a food processor and want to puree the pumpkin more, that is up to you. I am just telling you what I am doing (remember, I’m all about keeping it simple) ;-)
Add 4 eggs
1.75 cup of milk (I’ve experimented with whole milk, condensed milk, 1% milk,etc. At this point, I just use whatever I have in the frig that is opened.
1 cup of brown sugar (again, I’ve experimented, with various sweeteners. currently using some Demerara Cane Sugar crystals only because I had a lot of it in the cupboard and wanted to use it up) side note- this is about 1/2 the amount of sweeter the regular made from scratch pumpkin pie recipe’s call for. Trying to watch my sugar intake and it still tastes delicious w/1/2 the sugar content.
1.5 to 2 teaspoons of vanilla
Once all the ingredients are in the pot, I mix it w/my little hand mixer for a couple of minutes.
Pour into 9 by 13 pan. Forget about the pie crust. Who needs pie crust ;-)
Cook (uncovered) in preheated oven , 15 minutes @ 425 F.
Turn down oven to 350 and cook approx. another hour. (test like a normal pumpkin pie filling…cook until knife comes out clean)
Top with cool whip if you like,
On a totally unrelated note, as I mentioned on my last blog post, I have decided to post only farm related things on this blog and go back to posting my introspective stuff on a second blog site. E-mail me or leave me a comment and I will be glad to send you a link if you are interested. It is a new blog, not the old one some of you may remember….absolutely no pressure, this will be the last time I mention it here. DM