I promised to bake pumpkin pies for the office party today. So, late last night I was making pie shells and preparing the filling in a blender. I use the standard recipe from Joy of Cooking, except that I don’t have powdered ginger, only the pureed ginger that comes in the little jars.
So I mixed up the filling for the first pie, fetched the ginger from the fridge, and added the proper amount, and mixed it in. In the back of my mind, I thought it seemed a bit white. Only when I mixed up the second batch, did I notice that the jar was not ginger, it was horseradish! Since the first pie was already in the pan, I went ahead and baked both of them, but only the second came to work with me. I’ll keep the horseradish pie to myself.
The anticlimactic ending is that I tried the horseradish pie this morning and it’s ok. A bit bland, actually.
Ya know, I’m fairly good in the kitchen. I’ve made deserts that have gotten me marriage proposals. But for the life of me, I cannot bake a pumpkin pie and have it turn out any better than Mrs. Smith’s.
And I’m not sure if that says something bad about my pumpkin pie, or something good about hers.
Most cooks over mix the pumpkin pie filling. The eggs and sugar should be well blended then all that is required to is enough mixing to incorporate the rest of the ingredients. You don’t get the sky high fluffy pie that looks pretty but a pie with a bit of texture and better flavor.
The pumpkin pies I have made from total scratch (meaning, using an actual sugar pumpkin instead of pumpkin from a can) taste a lot better, IMHO. You don’t have to use much sugar because the pumpkin is already so sweet, and it tastes really fresh. My favorite recipe calls for evaporated milk and brown sugar.
Also, put some spices into the crust itself if you make your crust from scratch. I always get compliments on my crust if I add a bit of cinnamon and cloves to the crust itself in addition to the pie filling.
My friend’s wife packed a pumpkin pie for him to take to work last year for Thanksgiving. Well, the pie slid off the seat in the car while he was driving and he deftly grabbed it and placed it back secure on his seat. However, it seems he had replaced it on the seat upside down.
My problem is that the recipe I tend to use a bunch of different seasonings that are very powerful in very small quantities (yes ground cloves, I’m looking at you), and it’s near impossible for me to keep them in proper balance with each other without overpowering the pumpkin.
The first Christmas that **Rhiannon8404 ** and I were married, I made two pumpkin pies. They came out of the oven looking beautiful. I was so happy with my effort that I turned to show her one so she could see how wonderful it looked.
At that point I began to understand why they called it a “non-stick” pie pan. I felt the whole pie sliding forward out of the pan. I quickly shifted the pan, but I over-corrected just a bit, and splashed 450 degree pumpkin napalm all over my legs.
Did I mention that it was quite warm in Sacramento that Christmas, and I was wearing shorts? After I spent a few seconds trying to wipe the stuff off with the oven mitts, **Rhiannon ** decided that perhaps sitting in a bathtub full of ice would be a better plan.
We considered taking my (second degree?) burned legs down to the emergency room, but I didn’t want that to be the lasting memory of our first Christmas together. So we settled for a trip to the all-night grocery store for some gauze and copious amounts of Neosporin.