So yah... I started this last Wednesday and reached a point of success Friday night! LOL! I learned a bunch! For instance, there was some "behind the scenes" steps that I did not know Grandma was taking care of when I was back home asleep! *wink*. Therefore, my first two batches of filling were way wonky... more liquid than water itself actually! LOL! By the time I mixed up the third batch and it seemed "sorta-kinda-like-maybe-it-miiiiiiiiiight" work... I threw it in a store bought pie shell and tossed that one in the oven.
How did it taste? Well, the ingredients did a separation dance! Ha! I had pumpkin all on the bottom, and all the spices rose to the top and it almost made like a streusel topping... Hmmmmm... what could be the problem? Well, after a quick consultation with youtube *giggle* I learned that after cooking the pumpkin and scooping out the pulp, I needed to puree it in a food processor! (Who knew?) THEN, I had to strain it for a few hours to get the excess water out of it! Then it all mixed up good and made for a great pumpkin pie!
So here goes...
One thing I definitely remembered, was that I needed to get a "Cheese Pumpkin" or a "Sugar Pumpkin"... some folks even call it a Cinderella Pumpkin... They are sort of pale in color and kinda flat. Grandma said these were very sweet and had a nice thick wall so there would be plenty of good pumpkin in them. When I cut this pumpkin open... it was HEAVEN! The aroma was so sweet and fresh!
After you scoop out all the seeds and stringy stuff, you cut the pumpkin into manageable sections, place face down in a roasting pan or cookie sheet, cover real good with foil, and bake at 350* for about an hour, or until a butter knife can easily pierce the pumpkin.
When the pumpkin has cooled enough to handle, grab a spoon and scrape off all that moist and wonderful pumpkin!
Now, by this time it was already Friday morning, so I did not get pictures of this part. Add pumpkin to your food processor and process until consistency of baby food. I did a little bit less than that as I like the larger pieces for better texture. Then, place a colander in a pot and line the collander with cheesecloth. Place your pureed pumpkin in the cheesecloth. When all your pumpkin has been processed, pull up the ends of the cheesecloth and knot. Then, take a few heavy bowls and place it on top of that. The weight of the bowls will help keep pressure on the puree so that more water will be able to be squeezed out. Leave in refrigerator for at least 8 hours.
After your puree has drained some, it is now all prepared and ready to be made into a pie filling. I used most of the recipe that is on the Libby's label, but tweaked it here and there...
Whisk 2 eggs in a small bowl. In another bowl, place 2 cups pumpkin puree. Add (to the puree) 3/4 c sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ground ginger, 1/4 tsp. ground cloves, 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. salt. Mix all the spices in good with the puree. Next, stir the eggs into the puree mixture until well blended. Next, add your 1 cup of evaporated milk in small amounts at a time. Blend well after each addition. Pour all your completed mixture into your pie shell. I always place my pies on a cookie sheet for even browning of the crust, and also to catch drips. Bake at 450* for about 15 minutes. Then turn oven down to 350* and continue baking for about another hour. Pie is done when a butter knife inserted in center comes out clean.
So, this is Friday's pie success... and, since it's Monday... and almost gone... I'd say it tastes pretty durn GOOD! LOL!
Happy pie making!