I made pumpkin pie a couple of weeks ago at the suggestion of my three-year-old son. The pie turned out great, but I didn’t have whipping cream. I honestly didn’t even want to eat it without whipping cream. Do you feel the same? I served some to my son and he was excited, but then fifteen minutes later he returned the almost untouched pie to the countertop. He said he didn’t like the “smushy mud” in the middle. Oh, kid. I guess he’s not into the pumpkin pie texture.
So, anyway… Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
I really love holidays that bring families together. Whether your family lives nearby or hundreds of miles away, or even if your family consists of friends who fulfill the definition of family, this gathering together is exciting and memorable.
I’ve had lots of friends moving away over the last couple of years, and perhaps as a result, I’ve seen more “friendsgivings” than ever before. I absolutely love seeing the togetherness among groups who, while technically unrelated, find that the value of like mindedness, oneness of heart, and the daily sharing of their lives connect them just as deeply.
As Thanksgiving week begins, the collective excitement and anticipation of our whole country in preparation seems to just permeate the atmosphere. Difficult things continue to happen, as do good and right things, and regardless, this growing excitement isn’t stifled. I think that, despite all of our differences, such holidays show us what we do have in common, and we get to celebrate that together. For that, I’m thankful.
So, relevant to the occasion, Amy requested a pumpkin pie recipe that involved fewer processed ingredients. Really, the only ingredients in a traditional pumpkin pie that didn’t fit her criteria were the brown sugar and canned evaporated milk. So, let’s deal with those.
- Brown sugar: To accomplish a sugar substitute, I used a blend of honey and maple syrup so as to not overwhelm the pie with either flavor. I cut back slightly on the milk to compensate for the added liquids.
- Evaporated milk: To veer away from the canned evaporated milk, I made my own, which worked really well. Basically, however much evaporated milk is called for, double that amount in regular milk and add it to a small saucepan. This recipe uses 8 ounces of evaporated milk, so I poured 16 ounces of cold milk in the saucepan. Heat this milk on low for approximately 2.5 hours, until the milk has reduced to about half of its original quantity. I found this was the perfect amount of time to fold and put away a basket of laundry, cook dinner for a family of four, and change two diapers. So, yes, it takes longer than peeling the lid off a can, but it’s also extremely low maintenance, and it tastes really delicious! I was really pleased with how simple it was.
Once you’ve prepared your evaporated milk, this recipe doesn’t take long at all to put together. The ingredients are simple and delicious, and the resulting pie has great flavor and texture, and it slices and serves easily. Needless to say, we made whipped cream this time.
About the crust: I use many different recipes for pie crusts, so use the one you love the best. Go with a standard pie plate, though. A deep dish pie plate will leave your pie looking inadequate, as the filling is perfect for a standard pie, but less than what you would want for deep dish. I found that out for you, so now you won’t have to bring an ugly pie to Thanksgiving dinner.
- 15 oz pumpkin puree
- 8 oz evaporated milk, homemade
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 honey
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. ginger
- 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 unbaked pie shell
- whipped cream for topping
- Pour 16 ounces of cold milk in a small saucepan. Heat on low for approximately 2.5 hours, until the milk has reduced to about half of its original quantity.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Prepare your pie crust, using a standard size pie plate.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin puree and the evaporated milk.
- Add the two eggs as you stir.
- Drizzle the maple syrup and honey into your mixture.
- Stirring vigorously, add the salt and seasonings.
- Pour the pie filling into the unbaked pie crust.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue baking for approximately 30 minutes, or until the middle is set.
- Amy added raw milk cream to her stand mixer and mixed until the cream became stiff. Add a bit of sugar for some sweetness, if you like!
- Monitor your crust so that it doesn't burn. Cover the edges with aluminum foil, if needed.