Super easY Way TO start with the WHOLE PUMPKIN for Pie
It’s a crisp October day, I’m walking down the road to Colinwood Farm where they have pumpkins I’ve eyed for a week. I meet up with a friend and her young step-daughter, both eager to pick out a pumpkin so they can bake a pie. We choose our perfect pumpkins weighing them on a hanging scale and paying on the honor system. We’ve been taught to open a can of pumpkin if we want to bake a pie, but it’s time to update that habit so we won’t miss an enjoyable seasonal tradition. Red Dog Farm, the first tent on the right entered the Uptown Farmer’s Market, had nine varieties of winter squash last Saturday. Their names inviting serious consideration: Acorn, Black Futsu, Buttercup, Butternut, Delicata, Hubbard, Keri, Baby Pam Pumpkins and Spaghetti. I bought a 2.5 lb Baby Pam Pumpkin from Alice for $3.75 and headed home to slow cook it. Our local winter squash have such outstanding flavors. I like to mix and match squashes in a pie, or feature one I’ve never tried. I have the world’s laziest way to process winter squash. I stab it a couple of times, like you would a baked potato, add 3 cups of water in the bottom of a large oval slow cooker, put the whole pumpkin in and set the cooker on high for 4 hours. When it’s done it’ll be soft enough to slice open, scoop out the seeds, peel off the skin and puree the flesh. That’s it. You can use the puree right away or freeze it for pies, breads or soup for winter. And remember, don’t throw out those seeds, guts or skin! Put them right back in the slow cooker, add a quart a water, maybe some ginger slices and set on low for 10 hours. You’ll have some incredible stock to use for soup.
Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Date Crust
Featuring an easy delicious press in crust. Delicious and Easy Pecan Date Crust 1 ½cup/200g pitted deglet dates 1 ½cup/170g pecans ¼ cup/30g ground flaxseeds 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted 2 tablespoons maple syrup ¼ teaspoon sea salt
Pie Filling 1 1/2 cups/400g pumpkin puree (from 2 ½lb pumpkin) 1 ¼ cups 10 fl oz/300 ml unsweetened canned coconut milk 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/8 teaspoon powdered white stevia (or 1/2 cup/50g brown sugar without stevia) 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice berries 1/4 teaspoon whole peppercorns 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg 1 whole clove 1 tablespoon fresh ginger paste 3 large eggs
Instructions Pierce a 2.5 to 3 lb pie pumpkin several times, like for baking a potato and roast in a large oval slow cooker on high for 4 hrs with three cups water. The skin will be soft and easily cut open when done.
Spice Mix Grinding fresh whole spices is fast and well worth the effort! Grind whole spices together in a coffee or spice grinder with cinnamon, sugar, salt and stevia Grate fresh nutmeg add to spice mix Sift spice mix through fine mesh strainer and set aside
Liquids Measure coconut milk and eggs into a bowl add ginger paste refrigerate until ready to use
Crust Measure ingredients into food processor run machine until a sticky mass forms Press dough evenly into bottom and sides of a removable bottom tart pan or a regular pie plate Chill crustuntil ready to blind bake
Baking the Pie When whole pumpkin is soft remove from slow cooker, and cool enough to handle. Slice it open scooping out the seeds and reserve them to roast or for use in stock. Scoop out flesh for pie and reserve leftover peel for stock. Measure out pumpkin and puree with coconut egg mixture and spices. Preheat oven to 425F /220C Blind bake chilled crust for 10 minutes (put pie plate on a baking sheet) Reduce heat to 350F/180C and pour filling into hot crust Put foil guard around edge of crust to keep from getting brown Bake for 45 minutes or until set Cool to further set EnJOY!