What am I grateful for today?
Well, I could say that I am grateful for this boy and his sweet Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin. It was a gift. The man said, "You could make pumpkin pie with it."
To which I responded: "I've done that before -- never again."
Pumpkin Pie made from scratch -- and I mean REALLY from scratch. No canned Libby's; no crust from the freezer section of your grocery store.... made from scratch pumpkin pie is NEVER worth the return on investment. You would have to really, really, really love pumpkin pie... which I do not. I'm perfectly fine biting into the ones made from Costco and not feeling the least bit bad about it...
So one time (a couple of years ago) I made one from scratch, and vowed to NEVER do it again... Except today Holden wanted to make pie. And we had no agenda or "project" set in stone for Tuesday -- so I got suckered in.
That picture above? Yep, that's Cito showcasing the Jack-o-Lantern pumpkin we just gutted for pie. Here's a little interesting factoid: if you're going to spend the time making pumpkin pie, you might want to use a PIE PUMPKIN. They are sweeter, they are not as watery... they are not ginormous and take 90 minutes in an convection oven to bake just so you can start mixing in the ingredients.
Yes, you read correctly. You have to bake the pumpkin before you can even start mixing the ingredients for your pie. Also, I would like to point out that after this step Holden retired to the basement and did not help with the rest of the process... Zoë was having one of those awesome days where she only likes to sleep in 20 minute segments and both children desperately needed long naps today -- didn't happen. But what did happen was a disastrous kitchen:
Yep, I'm airing my dirty laundry... or at least my wicked-messy kitchen. Ug.
I think saying it took more than 4 hours to bake this pie is playing it safe. We basically started after Holden got home from preschool just after noon, and it was cooling from the oven when Danny got home after five. Also, somehow my hot pad stabbed it in the side... so it doesn't even look pretty.
As far as taste, it was ok...it was actually pretty good. I've never had Jack-O-Lantern pie before, so I don't have a lot to compare it to. My evaporated milk was more than year past the expiration date so I used sweetened condensed milk instead (but I had already mixed the sugar in with the pumpkin so it was doubly sweet). Also, I ran out of vanilla last week and only have vanilla beans on hand, which I refused to waste on something I wasn't even sure would be edible. No Allspice and I was short an egg too... did I mention that Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins are really watery?
After draining and pureeing and pureeing and draining, it's incredible the pie is even edible. But yeah, it's pretty good. Since the pumpkin is not real strong, it kind of tastes like a ginger and cinnamon custard with a hint of pumpkin... and the crust. Well, I am a big believer in butter for pie crusts (the only thing one really ought to use Crisco for is making soap.) Anyway, the crust is divine...
Holden wanted to try to the pie. When I cut him a piece, he pointed to inside the crust and said "I just don't like that stuff in there." Sooooo, I'm thankful I learned AGAIN that pumpkin pie should come from a can... or costco.