This is the time of year I love most (even if my allergies disagree).
The birdsong and frog song, the succession of blooming plants, the longer days, and the shifts between sunshine and rain.
I’m finishing up a project that I’ll be sad to leave. I love the characters, the setting, the story. I’m sure I’ll be doing future revisions and edits, shifting and changing, but for now, I’m going to move onto the next big thing.
These moments of shifting can feel good. “Hey, I finished a book!”
Yet, I can also feel unsure.
The possibility awaits: wonderful and scary; exciting and daunting; a dash forward and a long pause. All those contrasts hit me, freeze me.
I’m back to the act of creating again. The pen to the notebook–
I read on Twitter yesterday a Tweet from Ally Carter (an author of excellent YA novels), reminiscing about pumpkin pie made with real pumpkin (not the canned stuff). Some years ago, I started making pumpkin pie with roasted pumpkin, and the results are fantastic! Ally and Tina Hoggatt requested the recipe, so I posted it here.
I searched through my photos for a good picture of the pie. This is the best I can do. It was from Thanksgiving a couple of years ago. The one in the front is the Pumpkin pie. Just ignore the ugly crust; I tend to do rustic over perfect. You can see the deep color of the roasted pumpkin in the pie. Pure deliciousness!
I don’t have a recipe for the pie crust, but there are plenty of great ones out there. I love Smitten Kitchen’s excellent recipe and tutorial for an all butter, really flaky pie dough.
Adapted from the Bakeshop’s Sugar Pumpkin Pie Recipe which was published long ago in Sunset Magazine. I changed a few of the ingredients. I replaced the corn syrup with maple syrup, added molasses, reduced the sugar, and increased the pumpkin and spices.
1 Sugar Pie pumpkin (or any squash that resembles pumpkin). Preferably organic from a local farm like Farmer John’s on Orcas Island.
2 eggs (from local hens, of course!)
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1-2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice (or your favorite combination of cinnamon, ground ginger, cloves, nutmeg . . .)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon molasses (optional, but it’s pretty awesome)
3/4 cup (generous) organic half-and-half
1 partially baked 9-inch pie crust, the deeper kind of pie dish works better (make the crust and precook it in the oven for about 10-15 minutes 400 degrees). Not a necessary step, but it helps.
Cut pumpkin in half crosswise, remove seeds and punkie guts. Then set cut side down in a pan. Bake in a 375-400 degree oven until very soft when pressed.
When cool enough to touch, scoop pumpkin flesh from rind and discard rind. Smoothly purée flesh in a blender; you need 1 generous cup. Use the rest for something else (a second pie!).
In a bowl, mix the 1 cup pumpkin purée, eggs, sugar, salt, and spices. Stir in maple syrup and ½ and ½. Or put everything in the blender and blend!
Set the prepared pie dish with the crust on a baking sheet. Set baking sheet on the bottom third rack of a 350° oven (middle will work as well). Pour the pumpkin mixture into the crust (or do this before you put in the oven).
Bake until pie center barely jiggles when gently shaken, about 50-55 minutes. If crust rims start to get too dark, drape affected areas with foil.
Cool pie on a rack. Serve warm or cool.
If you have any leftover pie filling (it happens), you can make pumpkin custards. Just pour the filling into a small buttered ovenproof container and bake. You now have something to eat while you wait for the pie.