Monday, October 10, 2011

Local Foods Week - Potluck Pumpkin Pie!

Last week was Local Foods Week (as if you couldn't tell from the Local Matters logo above)!!

We weren't able to attend any of the events last week, but I couldn't let the week go by without doing my part!  Unrelated to Local Foods Week (though I should have made it related) we had a potluck on Thursday at work.  I used this as an opportunity to get most of my ingredients for my potluck contribution locally. Last Fall, I made a couple of pumpkin pies that were a hit.  It was the first time I had made a pie crust from scratch, but I still used the pumpkin puree in a can.  Not this time though!

We always try, but are increasingly becoming better, at buying from local producers.  It's really just a matter of being more organized and using the opportunity of a farmers market to get what we need locally.  We made a trip to the Worthington Farmer's Market on Saturday the 1st to pick up some pie pumpkins and other stuff.  We got the last two pie pumpkins from Wayward Seed Farm. They are the Winter Luxury variety, which I believe is an heirloom.  I also picked up a couple of pie pumpkins from The Green Grocer on Tuesday.  I'm not sure where they are from, or what the variety is, but I'm assuming they're from Ohio since pumpkins are so rampant here this time of the year.

Seeing as I've never made the filling from scratch before, I consulted a trusted resource:  Hounds In The Kitchen. It usually never fails that when I'm thinking of doing something, Rachel has already done it and blogged about it.  It was no different with preparing these pumpkins.  After a quick search, I found a blog post about pumpkin puree.  Unfortunately, after re-reading her post (after baking and scooping), I realized I didn't bake the pumpkins nearly enough. No wonder they didn't scoop out as easily as I had hoped.  It still worked out, just maybe took a little longer to puree than it should.

I started this process on Tuesday.  I chopped the pumpkins in half, scooped out all the seeds and gooey stuff.

I then baked them, open side down for about 30 minutes (though they should have been closer to 45-60 minutes probably.  I should have double checked that...

I made the pie crust dough while the pumpkins were roasting, and wrapped them up, and put them in the fridge to roll out and bake on Wednesday.

After the pumpkins were out of the oven, flipped over, and cooled, I spooned out the insides and put them into bags to puree on Wednesday.  As you can see from the time on the stove, it was already past 10pm.  Looking back, I would have pureed the pumpkin the same night.

At first I had planned to just mix the pumpkin from both varieties together, but decided instead to keep them separate and make a pie out of each to see how they differ.  Obviously, I have way more pumpkin here than I need for two pies.  I wanted to make sure I had enough, as I wasn't sure how much I'd get out of each pumpkin, but I also knew that once I made the puree, it'd keep in the freezer.  After pureeing, here's the bounty of pumpkin puree!

Since the recipe calls for a 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree, I bagged the puree just shy of a pound. I got 3 total bags from the winter luxury pie pumpkins, and 5 bags from the other pumpkins.

The pies turned out pretty good.  There wasn't a huge difference in the two, though I think the pie from the winter luxury pumpkins had better texture.  The flavor was pretty much the same though.  Next time I'll probably us light brown sugar instead of the dark and might use a little less ginger.  Regardless, here's the recipe:

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree (Wayward Seed and The Greener Grocer)
1 cup packed dark brown sugar (I'll probably use light brown sugar next time)
2 teaspoons ginger (I'd consider taking this down to 1.5 or even 1 teaspoon)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup heavy cream (Snowville Creamery whipping cream of course)
2/3 cup whole milk (Snowville Creamery)
4 large eggs (The Greener Grocer - Kings Farm (Stoutsville, OH)

1. Remove partially baked pie crust from oven, leaving the oven rack at the lower middle position. Increase oven to 400 degrees.  The crust must still be how when the filling is added.

2. While the crust is baking, put the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, spices, and salt in a food processor and process until combined (about 1 minutes). Pour the pumpkin mixture to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until thick and shiny, about 5 minutes. Make sure to keep stirring or it'll splatter hot pumpkin lava on your arm. Whisk in the cream and milk and return to a simmer briefly, then remove from the heat.

3. Process the eggs in the, still dirty food processor until uniform (about 5 seconds). With the machine running, slowly pour about half of the hot pumpkin mixture through the feed tube. Stop the machine, add the remaining pumpkin, and continue to process the mixture until uniform (about 30 seconds longer).  Note: when all was added, and the processor was on, the liquid rose above the max level for my large food processor.  It dripped out of the bottom when I took the processor canister off, but I made it work (just so you know what's coming).

While cooling, I made the whipped cream.  This recipe is tough, so hang on...

1 cup chilled whipping cream (Snowville of course)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Put these all in a bowl, and using an electric mixer, whip it until soft peeks form.  Piece of cake...or pie.

I double the recipe since there were two pies, and whipped cream is freaking awesome!

Here is the final result (along with a well used stove top):

The pies seemed to have received good reviews during the potluck.  Like I said, next time I'll probably adjust the spices/sugar, but other than that, I was very happy with my first, completely from scratch, pie making experience!

1 comment:

laurarees said...

Yum! I love wayward seed. They are so nice.