Once you’ve tasted pumpkin pie made from scratch, you’ll never want the canned stuff again. The flavor is so much better than anything from a can. If you planted pumpkins this year in your garden, you’ll have plenty to make wonderful pies. If you didn’t grow any yourself, you can buy pie pumpkins at the grocery store for about $2. One pie pumpkin will give you 2-4 pies, so it’s a great bargain and it tastes good.
Can’t find any pie pumpkins in the store? Don’t worry, you can substitute just about any hard winter squash. Or you can even use the pumpkins that your kids carved for Halloween.
Depending on the variety, some fresh squash can be a little stringy, even after cooking, so I prefer to mix up the custard in a blender. Using a blender makes it quick and easy and then I only have one thing to wash.
Make this even easier by mixing up a batch of Pumpkin Pie Spice. It will cost you a lot less than spice mix in the store and you can adjust the spices to suit your tastes.
1 ½ – 1 3/4 C of pumpkin pulp purée from a sugar pumpkin or any squash
OR 1 small can pumpkin purée
1½ C heavy cream
OR 1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk
½ C packed dark brown sugar
½ C white sugar
½ tsp salt
1½ tsp of cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cloves
¼tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp allspice
OR substitute 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice mix for all the spices
Cook the pumpkin for use in pie
Cut pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Put cut side down on a cookie sheet and bake at 350° for one hour or until soft. Allow to cool and scoop the flesh out of the rind. You can do this anytime this fall and freeze the pumpkin puree in recipe-size portions to use later as needed. Just measure 1½ C or 3 C portions (depending on if you want to make one or two pies at a time) into Ziploc baggies and freeze.
Make the pie
Preheat oven to 425°. Puree everything together in blender, pour into pie crust. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes, reduce temperature to 350° and bake for another 40-45 minutes, or until a inserted knife comes out clean.
Pumpkin Pie Spice
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice
1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves.
Mix the spices together in a small bowl. Use 2-3 teaspoons for pumpkin pie recipe.