Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pumpkin Pie - 'tis the Season!

Jamboree Squash
I had some pretty squash, pumpkins and gourds for decoration over the last month, but now it was time to use them.  Nice heavy winter squash make very good pumpkin pies.  I had gotten a green-blue colored "Jamboree" squash, just like I had last year, and from that squash I made the best "pumpkin" pies I have ever had.  The texture is silky smooth, unlike the little pumpkins that no matter what, seem to end up with too much texture.  The color of the squash inside is the prettiest bright yellow orange color - something I would not have expected, by looking at the cool outer color.

Yesterday I finally baked the squash (poke a few small holes into the top to let steam escape and bake whole on baking sheet at 375 degrees for 1 hour - for an 8-lb squash) and got all the flesh removed and pureed properly.  I had a little tiny 1/2 cup left yesterday, so I made some Pumpkin Tapioca Pudding, which was just delicious.  

Pumpkin Tapioca Pudding
Pumpkin Tapioca Pudding

Makes 4 servings

2 cups milk (or ½ milk, ½ cream)
½ cup sugar
3 tablespoons instant tapioca
½ cup pumpkin puree
½ teaspoon ground cassia cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground allspice

In a saucepan combine the milk, sugar and tapioca and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Add in the rest of the ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and continue to cook, stirring, for about 6 minutes until tapioca is cooked and thickened.

To prevent a skin forming over the pudding, either place a piece of plastic wrap directly covering the surface of the hot pudding, or just stir the pudding every 2 to 3 minutes as it cools. Serve with whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

Today I made a pie. I was trying out a new recipe I made up.  I wanted to make a 10-inch pie, so I wanted to have enough filling.  I actually ended up using a 9 1/2 inch pie plate, though it is exceptionally deep, so I believe it would be the same filling amount as for a 10-inch plate.  I figure it is better to have a large pie and make less of them.  Here is what I did:

Chris' "Pumpkin" Pie

Chris' Pumpkin Pie

1 single-crust 10-inch unbaked pie shell
2 cups pumpkin or squash puree
2 cups whipping cream (can substitute evaporated milk)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cassia cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons Brandy, optional

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 if using convection). With a whisk, hand held mixer or stand mixer, mix together all the ingredients until combined.  Pour into prepared pie shell and bake for about 1 hour and 5 minutes, or until a knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out clean.


My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website, on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I am also on a spiritual journey and hope you will join me at my new blog, An Eagle Flies.