Baking History

A Taste For The Past

Pumpkin Pie

Posted by bakinghistory on October 30, 2008

Traditional Pumpkin Pie

Update: Ivy has posted the ROUNDUP

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Ivy from Kopiaste… is hosting another wonderful event devoted to pies, this time sweet ones.  I decided to enter a classic all-American pumpkin pie, a traditional dessert enjoyed in the Fall and always part of the Thanksgiving feast.

The poet John Greenleaf Whittier, born in Massachusetts in 1807, immortalized pumpkins—and pumpkin pie—in his work The Pumpkin, from which the following verses are taken:

What moistens the lip and what brightens the eye,

What calls back the past, like the rich Pumpkin pie?

There are many versions of pumpkin pie, more or less rich, more or less spiced, some sweetened with sugar, others with molasses, maple syrup, or even with honey.

The recipe I feature here is very simple, minimally spiced with cinnamon, and sweetened with very little sugar.  If the pumpkin is very tasty to begin with there is no need to be heavy handed with spices, and sweeteners like molasses might be too strong and overpower the delicate flavor of the main ingredient itself. Even if canned pumpkin is an acceptable shortcut, it cannot compare with freshly roasted pumpkin and the result will be much tastier—and definitely worth the extra time and effort—if the latter were used.

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From the original recipes by Bertha Lippincott Parrish

In: “The ‘Home’ Cook Book”, by the Children’s Summer Home of Cinnaminson, NJ, 1914—USA

and Juniata L. Shepperd

In: “Handbook of Household Science”, 1902—USA

Ingredients

Filling:

1 cup (250 g) roasted and pureed pumpkin

1/4 cup (60 ml) cream or milk

3 tbsp sugar

1 tsp cinnamon or 1/2 tsp nutmeg (according to taste)

1 large egg, divided

1 tbsp butter

1/4 tsp salt

Crust:

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (scant) butter

1/4 tsp salt

ice water as needed

Preheat the oven to 375F (190C).

Make the Crust: In a food processor put flour salt and butter (diced), and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. With the machine running add enough water for the dough to come together. Do not overprocess. Wrap the dough in wax paper and let rest in a cool place for about 30 minutes. Roll the dough to about 1/8-inch thickness and line a deep pie dish, make a decorative rim. I used a small cookie-cutter shaped like a maple leaf to decorate the rim of the pie as well as the top.

Make the filling: Cream the butter and add the sugar little by little, then the yolk, cream or milk, salt and spice, and then the pureed pumpkin.  Beat the egg white till stiff peaks form, and add it to the pumpkin mixture, gently, until well incorporated.

Fill the prepared pastry shell, decorate the rim and top as you like, and bake in a preheated oven (375°F), until the pastry is golden brown and the filling barely wiggles in the center. Let the pie cool on a rack.






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6 Responses to “Pumpkin Pie”

  1. Ivy said

    I definitely prefer cinnamon to nutmeg and sometimes you get a better result with less ingredients. I like your decoration with the leaves. Thanks for participating at the event.

  2. Simona said

    How nice! I like the low sugar content and also I agree with you on the roasted pumpkin note. And the decoration of your pie is lovely.

  3. bakinghistory said

    @Ivy: Thanks! And thanks for hosting!

    @Simona: Grazie ;-) .I prefer using less sugar too, and this recipe was different in this respect from he others, which called for up to 1/2 cup of sugar for this amount of pureed pumpkin.

  4. [...] M., of Baking History, has made the all-American Pumpkin Pie, i.e. a traditional dessert enjoyed in the Fall and always part of the Thanksgiving feast. M, [...]

  5. Aparna said

    We use pumpkin a lot in savoury dishes, but very rarely in sweet. I have never ventured into pumpkin pie so far.:)
    Your pie crust is very beautifully decorated. Love the way it looks.

  6. bakinghistory said

    @ Aparna: I have had the opportunity to try some Indian dishes in which pumpkin is used and I have loved them. Pumpkin is so versatile. If you try this recipe I think you will like it, the flavor is very delicate.

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