Monday, November 19

BAKE IT: Traditional Settlers Pumpkin Pie

When early American Settlers of Plimoth Plantation were first presented with the pumpkin, the pumpkin pie was born. However, it was not the pumpkin pie as we know it, that came about roughly 50 years later.

The pumpkin pie actually refers to baking a pie in a pumpkin. They would hollow out the insides, fill it and bake it within the hot ashes of the fire. The pie was usually stewed pumpkin meat or mixtures of milk, honey, and spices. Apparently, settlers were originally not impressed with the pumpkin and thought little of it...and then came their first winter. Slow rise to eating and roasting of the pumpkin gave way and over the years the pumpkin pie as we know it was born. It first appeared in a pastry shell in the 1650s in France and by 1670 it was in common English cookbooks.

But back to the original pumpkin pie, which should be called custard. If you sift through tons of sites, documents, extremely old cook books you get overall recipe calling for roasted pumpkin, milk, and honey after some experimenting I give you the beautiful marriage of settlers and ours!

Makes 2 pies
Serves 8

You will need:

2 cup pumpkin or 14.5/15 oz. can pumpkin
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt

1 sugar pumpkin which is oval or short but wide.

Let us begin:

Preheat oven to 350.

Start by cutting your pumpkin in half, width wise.

Carefully clean out the pumpkin. The bottom half will be all set.

For the top, carefully remove stem by slicing off an extremely thin layer at the tip.

This will give you two equal pieces, place them hollow side up on an aluminum foil lined baking tray.

Spray lightly with vegetable or olive oil cooking spray and roast in oven 1 hour.

Your pumpkin should just be beginning to be fork-able, if a gently pushed fork sinks into meat you are ready to move on, if not roast additional 15 minutes and retest.

Remove pumpkin from oven and set aside for a moment.

Mix all remaining ingredients in a large bowl.

Pour half of mixture into each hollow.

Bake 1hour, or until a toothpick inserted roughly 1" from meat comes out clean.

Turn off oven and allow pumpkins to sit in oven for 30 to set.

Remove from oven and slide to serving tray or store in refrigerator for up to a week.

Serve wedges of warm pie and eat pumpkin meat along with pie itself, enjoy!