Introduction: How to Bake a Pumpkin Pie (from Scratch)

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This instructable is a continuation of my How to Bake a Fresh Pumpkin instructable.

Baking pumpkin pies from scratch is somewhat of a tradition in my family, and ever since having had pies made from fresh pumpkin, I can't eat the ones made from canned pumpkin.

You can use this instructable to make a pie from canned pumpkin, but if you're planning on using a fresh one you should follow the instructions in my other instructable.

See the last page for a bonus recipe for homemade whipped cream with flavor booster.

Step 1: The Ingredients

Since you'll be baking, you'll probably want to make sure you have all of the ingredients before starting. The only thing that doesn't really count as 'from scratch' is the pie crusts, but that's because when I took the photos I was feeling lazy.

This recipe is based on one out of my mom's ancient Joy of Cooking cook book, but I've added a few things for extra flavor.

You'll need:

*1 pie crust. You can use the store bought kind (either graham cracker or Pillsbury) or make your own.

  • 2 cups cooked, mashed pumpkin (450 g)
  • 1 1/2 cups evaporated milk (350 ml)
  • 1/4th cup brown sugar (30 g)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar (60 g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 eggs

Cooking utensils:

  • A pie pan
  • some measuring cups and spoons
  • some regular spoons for stirring
  • a few assorted bowls in various sizes (about 3)
  • a blender (optional, but helps)

Step 2: Start Mixing

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees (210 Celsius).

Start by mixing the fresh pumpkin with the eggs and the evaporated milk in one bowl. Mix the brown sugar into this bowl too.

Once they're well blended, switch to a separate bowl and mix the white sugar, spices, and salt together until they're pretty well mixed. Then, combine the wet ingredients with the dry ones and mix until everything is as smooth as you can get it.

Once you have everything all mixed together, pour it all into a blender and blend it for a couple of minutes on a medium setting. This helps make sure that your pumpkin is totally broken down, and it also helps make sure there aren't any little pockets of cinnamon or ginger that didn't get broken up either.
This is important, because it means that the finished pie will have a smooth texture instead of a chunky, stringy, or spotty one. No one likes a chunky pie.

Step 3: Fill and Bake

Pour the pie mixture from the blender into the pie crust, making sure not to overfill it.

Bake the pie at 425 degrees for 15 minutes then lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 45 minutes.
The time it takes to bake will depend on how evenly heated your oven is. I recommend checking the pie at 30 minutes into the second half and seeing how far along it is. My oven really only takes about 35 minutes.
You can tell the pie is done when a toothpick or knife that's stuck in it comes out clean.

Step 4: Cool and Eat (bonus: Whipped Cream)

You'll want to cool your pie before eating it. At least, I always do, I prefer my pumpkin pies cold, with whipped cream.
Perhaps you like whipped cream too, but don't want your average Cool Whip to go with your not so average pie.

Well, to make whipped cream from scratch, all you need is:

  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
  • rum, mead, bourbon, or other flavor booster. (non-alcoholics can use 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
  • a nice big bowl
  • an electric mixer, or a whisk and a lot of muscle.
To make the whipped cream, just pour the 2 cups whipping cream into the bowl and start whipping. If you have an electric mixer, this is so easy you'll want to do it all day. If you don't, your arm will probably get tired pretty quick.

Once the cream has fluffed up a bit but isn't forming peaks, mix in about a tablespoon of the confectioners sugar and a tablespoon of flavor booster, and keep whipping. I find that the amount of sugar and alcohol varies depending on taste, so use slightly more or less depending on how sweet you like it. You don't need much, I think the most I ever added was about 2 tablespoons of each.
Since it's to taste, you can make more or less whipped cream by just using less cream and adjusting the sugar and alcohol.

Your whipped cream is done when it's about halfway between the soft peaks and hard peaks stage. Some people say not to go all the way to the hard peaks stage, but I've never noticed a difference so I tend to go as far as medium peaks. A soft peak is when you pull the spoon out and the peak left behind slowly falls over, a hard peak is when it hardly falls over at all.

Serve a nice big slice of pie with a dollop of your homemade whipped cream and watch it disappear.
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