Better than Pumpkin Pie

pumpkins

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

(or custard)

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,

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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

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7 Responses to Better than Pumpkin Pie

  1. Victo Dolore says:

    Yum!!!! And I need that link…
    ___________________
    I’m on it! Just sent you a link. DM

  2. This is wonderful to know. I do not like throwing away perfectly good pumpkins either. Great tip to freeze cubes over night. Yep, I’m bookmarking this recipe and putting DM Jan 15 under pumpkin pie in my recipe index. I’m intrigued to try the hand mixer for texture rather than food processor. Just thinking. You might put the link to your other blog in the side bar somehow.
    _______________________________
    Good morning Georgette! Good to hear from you. Let me know what you think if you do make the recipe. I do think it’s a lot more healthy for us than canned.

    As far as the side bar suggestion, I had thought of doing that but decided against it for a couple of reasons. Not having a direct link has enabled me to be more candid and free with what and how I write on the other blog. I don’t mind sharing the link w/ someone if they ask however. DM

  3. shoreacres says:

    So here comes the doofus with the question: do you peel these things first, or peel them after blanching, or not peel them at all? Inquiring minds want to know!
    _______________________
    That is a great question! I cut them in 1/2 first/ scooped out the seeds and gook. then cut the 1/2’s into wedges At that point, I found them easiest to peel. After they were peeled, then I cut them into 1 and 1/2 to 2 inch chunks. DM

  4. emjayandthem says:

    Pumpkin pie is one of my favorites and I never eat the crust – I like your idea of a custard, bet that was yumm-o! Please send me the link to your other site, DM 🙂 MJ
    _______________________________________
    I’m on it! (link) 🙂 DM

  5. Although it is bordering on blasphemy to say anything is better without pie crust (pie crust is one of my most fav foods), I always have leftover custard when I make pumpkin pie and bake it in little ramekins for a quick snack later. I sometimes use maple syrup to sweeten too. I agree with you on cutting the sugar down – you can actually taste the pumpkin without the cloying sweetness that is usually the case with pumpkin pie. Mixing in some sweet potato also perks up the flavor.
    Another way I use pumpkin is to add it to chili and it is really great in a pork stew – especially if you add some poblano peppers. I just made a pumpkin, black bean and chorizo chili and it was really tasty. I puréed the pumpkin so it gave the chili a nice texture, but you can also do chunks. With the purée, it’s a good way to sneak in some practically undetectable healthy bits!
    And don’t forget the chickens! Any pumpkins you might not get to make good treats for them.
    Another thought on chunking and freezing – I cut the pumpkin or any squash into quarters (halves if they are small), scoop the seeds and pulp out, the place them on a baking sheet (parchment paper makes for easier clean up) cut side down and par-bake them just enough to make them easier to chunk up. Having nearly severed one of my fingers and 12 stitches later, I’m a little leary of cutting things that are (a) hard and (b) slimy.
    It’s pouring down rain, I may need to bake a pie today…

    • DM says:

      Just reading your comment put a fire under me to bake a pie this morning myself 😉 We got about a foot of snow the last two days so things are moving kind of slow. I am going to make an apple/ berry pie..(with black raspberries and a few strawberries w/ a lattice crust.)

  6. Sounds like I need to send our dessert order down the road.

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