Homemade pumpkin pie — from a real pumpkin

My boyfriend is big on culinary adventures. When other people go to make a pumpkin pie, they might do something like — oh, I don’t know — buy canned pumpkin. It’s quick, easy and ready to go. It’s convenient. And portable.

But Spencer enjoys a challenge. When we went to pick pumpkins to carve for Halloween, an annual tradition, he asked the woman at the farmer’s stand which gourd would be best for pie making. She recommended a sugar pumpkin — smaller and more flavorful than the bigger jack-o-lantern varieties — and off we went.

After hanging out at a fall festival last weekend, we decided to give the pie making a go. I was skeptical, to be honest; how were we going to take a big, fleshy and seed-filled orange thing and turn it into a pie? But in the end, it really wasn’t too tough. Especially when we found plenty of tutorials online.

So here’s how to make your own pumpkin puree for pie-making — or other recipes. If I’m being perfectly honest (and don’t punch me), I didn’t taste a huge difference between fresh pumpkin and its canned counterpart. If you’re short on time or just don’t want to be bothered, the traditional from-a-can method works just fine. But if you’re ready for something different or want to use up the pesky half-carved toothy gourds you have lingering around? This might be a good way to waste not, want not.



Two cups of the pumpkin puree we made amounted to about one 15 oz. can of pumpkin, which most pie recipes call for. And with about a million pumpkin pie recipes floating around the ether, how can you settle on one? We chose a recipe that worked based on the ingredients we had on hand, which happened to be this one. It was sweet without being cloying, and stood up very well!

Though nothing stands up to the pumpkin lovers in my house. It was gone in a day.

Happy Halloween, everyone!


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15 thoughts on “Homemade pumpkin pie — from a real pumpkin

  1. How great is it to have a boyfriend who is big on culinary adventures?!!! The pictures are great. I recently made a spaghetti squash which I also love to do in fall but I did it in the microwave. Divided in half, it only took like ten minutes. But you really have to make enough pierces in the skin so it doesn’t explode in the microwave! (one half I did, one half I didn’t!)

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  3. I recently made pumpkin soup and decided to do the same, use a real pumpkin. It was a bit work, got a little messy and I abandoned all thoughts of creating a nice tutorial like you did. I also chose one of the small sugar pumpkins and agree with you on taste… it was good but not that much better than the can. So for my pie I will be cheating and using the can.

  4. Wow – nice work! Seems like it would take too long for me and the canned pumpkin does taste pretty good. But how cool is it that your boyfriend is the one encouraging the food adventures! Enjoy the pie!

  5. I made some pumpkin puree last year, and I’m with you – it’s hard to tell the difference between homemade and canned. At least you can say you’ve made your own, though, right? 🙂

  6. I love the photo tutorial! I’ll be sure to come back to this post if I ever happen to have a pumpkin lying around that begs to be made into a pie. Happy Halloween 🙂

  7. i LOVE that guy! who in their right mind would go hunting for pumpkins to make pies with?! he’s a keeper, meggy dear…but i think you already knew that. 🙂

    i love your photos and directions–very snazzy. i’ve missed you and look forward to catching up soon. hope you guys had a fun halloween.

  8. I did this once, back when I was still learning to cook and bake. I’m not sure it was worth the effort, but I’m glad for the experience. It’d probably be easier now that I know my way around the kitchen a whole lot more!

    Pumpkin does not last long around here either. Last time I made a pumpkin pie, it was gone in about two days… and there are only two of us… and let’s just say I like pumpkin more than my husband. 🙂

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