Fresh pumpkin pie recipe without evaporated milk - Best Milk Recipes

Fresh pumpkin pie recipe without evaporated milk

PumpkinNotFromCansThis week I made pumpkin pie from scratch, starting not with a can opener but with a sharp knife and a real bright-orange pumpkin. Pie filling from fresh pumpkin takes a bit more effort than using canned, but it's not difficult. Just cut the pumpkin into quarters (use a small sugar pumpkin - big jack-o'-lantern pumpkins aren't so good for baking), and scrape out the strings and seeds. Roast the pumpkin pieces until soft. Scoop the soft pulp out of the skin and puree it in a blender or food processor until completely smooth.

If the puree seems a little watery, use this handy trick from the Joy of Cooking: place it into a square of cheesecloth and fold up the corners to make a snug cheesecloth-wrapped package. Tie it securely shut, set it in a colander placed over a bowl, and weight it with something weighing five pounds or so (another pumpkin, perhaps?). Let this set for a couple of hours. I squeezed out nearly a cup of liquid from a single pureed pumpkin and what was left was the perfect consistency for pie filling; as an added bonus, the squeezed-out liquid was sugary and delicious. Proceed just as you would with canned: Salt the puree and flavor it with nutmeg, ground ginger, cinnamon, and allspice or cloves. Mix in eggs and evaporated milk, pour it into a crust and bake it.

Now you ask, was it worth all these extra steps, when canned pumpkin is virtually effortless and really tastes good? Read after the jump to find out the answer...

When this topic was discussed a couple of weeks ago here on the Epi-Log, the consensus came down on the side of canned. However, canned pumpkin poses a challenge for cooks like me, who love to insist that everything, as much as possible, should be made from fresh ingredients. The label on a can of Libby's says "100% pure pumpkin, " and the list of ingredients on the back bears this out. There are no preservatives, no cryptic, unpronouncable salts, no sugar or corn syrup, high-fructose or otherwise. There's just that single word: pumpkin.

And things made from canned pumpkin do taste pretty darn good. There's so much less difference between canned and fresh than there is for tomatoes or peas or corn or, well, just about anything else. So why bother with fresh?

Maybe I just have a curmudgeonly suspicion of convenience food. But then, there's the allure of that orange orb sitting on the farmer's market table in the crisp autumn air. The fact that it's at its seasonal peak (which a can never is) says to me that its flavor and nutrients are at their best, too. I think of it recently lying in a field soaking up the sun. And I feel reassured to buy it directly from the person who grew it.

But none of this would matter quite so much if I didn't really believe that a pie made from fresh pumpkin actually does taste better. A pie from canned pumpkin can taste pretty good, but it will never have that certain something, that je ne sais quoi, that bright, delicate edge that fresh ingredients bring to a dish. Do I use canned pumpkin from time to time when I'm in a pinch or need to get the job done quickly? Sure I do, and gladly. But whenever I'm able to I'll use fresh. I'll never begrudge the extra time I put into it, and it'll be hard to shake my conviction that it makes a better pie.


Popular Q&A

Does anyone know a recipe for Key Lime Pie that doesn't use sweetened condensed milk? | Yahoo Answers

these use gelatin

Is there a fresh tasting substitute for sweetened condensed milk, specifically for pie recipes? | Yahoo Answers

I've never heard of a recipe for Key Lime Pie (which is one of my favorite things to make, by the way) that had all fresh ingredients. It seems that a can of sweetened condensed milk is a necessity to make it! However, I found a recipe for homemade sweetened condensed milk:
1/2 c. cold water
1 1/4 c. nonfat dry milk powder
3/4 c. sugar
Measure water into 2 cup glass measure. Gradually stir in milk powder until smooth. Microwave on high 3/4 to 1 minute or until milk is steaming hot. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Allow to cool before using. Use as s…

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