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As You Gather to Give Thanks, a Pumpkin Pie Recipe

HappyTurkeyDay!!

Creative Commons License photo credit: Lew57

Now THIS is Pumpkin Pie!

By Guest Blogger, Sarah Pope, The Healthy Home Economist blog
If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s cheap food. I admit it. I’m a dedicated Food Snob. Perhaps it’s my French heritage. Perhaps it is all those years I actually ate cheap food and suffered the inevitable consequences of dodgy health and a crabby disposition much of the time. I remember some years back when the French farmers were picketing McDonald’s for bringing cheap food to their land. I was cheering so loudly, I’m sure they heard me across the Atlantic. You GO Froggies!

Truth be told, I would rather go hungry than actually stoop to eating fast food – even in a pinch. I’ve found through painful experience, that it is infinitely better to drink some water, chew some gum or whatever I have to do to get to a decent restaurant or, better yet, simply go home and get something quality to eat than succumb to the temptation of the drive through only to suffer the inevitable stomach ache, headache or worse a few hours later. I’ve found very few places that beat my own kitchen for quality, lip smacking, “wow, that was amazing” food. It’s just not worth it to settle for less. The really ironic and highly amusing part of my Food Snob confession is that I couldn’t even boil an egg when I first got married. My husband was the chef; he was, and still is, an excellent cook. He taught me the basics, and when the kids came along, I determined to learn everything the best that I could so that my kids would really learn to appreciate, and love quality food. It is, after all, one of the finer things of life!

That being said, with Thanksgiving right around the corner, you can imagine my dismay at all the processed versions of the classic dishes that abound in the grocery store. Most folks just don’t seem to get the concept of “homemade” anymore. A can of Libby’s pumpkin pie filling is not a satisfactory stand in for a fresh from the field, seasonal pumpkin, baked in your own oven, and pureed to the perfect degree of smoothness in your food processor. Most standard pumpkin pie recipes also call for a can of evaporated milk. What is that stuff anyway? Brace yourselves. Evaporated milk, “also known as dehydrated milk, is a shelf-stable canned milk product with about 60% of the water removed from fresh milk” (Wikipedia). Evaporated milk is even more processed than pasteurized, homogenized milk, if that’s possible. Evaporated milk is processed at such a high temperature that the final product is sterilized to the point where the canned version is shelf stable for months or even years. Could one take canned, evaporated milk, add back the appropriate amount of water, add yogurt cultures and ferment into yogurt? Absolutely not! The stuff is DEAD. It is a nutrition-less, highly allergenic version of the fresh from the cow variety. Avoiding it in your Thanksgiving pumpkin pie recipe would be a favor to both you and your guests to say the least.

You’re probably now thinking that making a decent quality pumpkin pie would take at least a week and cost the equivalent of what you’re spending on the turkey. Not at all! Quality can always be convenient and taste fantastic too. Try this recipe on for size:

Now This is Pumpkin Pie!

Now THIS is Pumpkin Pie!

Now THIS is Pumpkin Pie!

2 cups of baked, pureed, seasonal pumpkin (check your farmer’s markets, pumpkin is a Fall crop and you can get one fresh from the field if you just ask. Any variety will do. Really. Don’t get hung up on the color or type of pumpkin. They all work fine in my experience.)

** The best way to bake a pumpkin is to first, cut it in half, then remove the seeds and bake, skin side up, in a glass pan filled with 1 inch of filtered water at 400F for one hour). Scoop out the thoroughly softened pumpkin and puree in a food processor. Do this a few days in advance and store in the refrigerator, so making the pie on Thanksgiving morning is a 5 minute snap. Make enough so that you already have enough pumpkin puree for Christmas too. Freeze in 1 pint or quart containers for easy thawing/baking later.

2/3 cup evaporated cane sugar (sucanat or rapadura work great. 1/3 – 1/2 cup sugar and 4-6 drops of stevia may be substituted to make a lower sugar recipe)

2 tsp ground organic cinnamon (use organic spices as non-organic ones are typically irradiated)
1/2 tsp ground organic ginger
1 tsp ground organic cloves
1 tsp ground organic nutmeg
1 tsp ground organic allspice
3 eggs
9 oz organic, whole coconut milk (this is a wonderful, healthy stand-in for evaporated milk. Your pie will NOT taste coconut-y at all. Use only the thick white portion of the coconut milk and not the coconut water.)

Whip together pumpkin puree, sugar, coconut milk and spices in a large, glass bowl with a whisk. Add lightly beaten eggs. Mix until just combined. Pour into 2 standard pie crust shells. Bake in a 375 oven for about 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool. Serve with real whipped cream or enjoy on it’s own.

I’m actually enjoying a slice of my own pumpkin pie right now as I’m typing this. I made a couple of pies a few days early as my kids couldn’t wait until Thanksgiving to enjoy it. They begged me to make some right after the pumpkin was baked. Guess I’ll have to make a couple more pies in a few days as these two won’t last until Thursday, that’s for certain!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Sarah Pope, WAPF Chapter Leader

Sarah Pope, WAPF Chapter Leader

Sarah Couture Pope has been a Weston A. Price Chapter Leader for Tampa FL since 2002.     She holds a BA in Economics from Furman University and a MGA in Financial Management from the University of Pennsylvania.    She is currently raising 3 young children with her husband and enjoys blogging about her traditional food and wellness adventures at: The Healthy Home Economist blog.

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Comments

  1. Kimberly Hartke says:

    I already have my pumpkin in the oven! Today’s Natural Cures blog carnival has been pre-empted by the holidays. Thanks, Sarah for this awesome recipe. Can’t wait to make my pie!

  2. This sounds awesome! I just made a delicious pie from our uncut Halloween decorations. I followed a recipe which substitutes (raw) cream or half and half for the evaporated milk. And this year I made my own crust with non hydrogenated leaf lard from Prairie Pride Farm in MN, flour, salt and two butter knives. It was perfect and very delicious. If you can’t go all out, Trader Joe’s has a fantastic all butter pie crust in the freezer section.

    And with the extra pumpkin mush I also made this ahead of time for our thanksgiving feast:

    Spicy Pumpkin Soup:
    Sautee 2 chopped medium yellow onions in 4 T butter, add 2T minced garlic and spices: 1/8t red pepper, 2t curry powder, 1/2t coriander, pinch cayenne. Add 6 cups cooked pumpkin and 5 cups chicken bone broth; simmer 15 minutes. Blend soup in small batches in your blender, return to pot. Add 1/4 C honey, 1/2 C cream, 1/4 C whole milk 1/2t salt. Can reduce sugar content by using less red pepper and cayenne. Serve with roasted pumpkin seeds.

  3. Are you able to find coconut milk that is not sold in cans? Just curious. I haven’t gone looking but I’ve never seen any that isn’t.
    .-= Psychic Lunch´s last blog ..Airborne vs. Cold and Flu? =-.

  4. Kimberly Hartke says:

    Always buy them in cans. I am going to try using clabbered milk instead of the coconut milk. We’ll see how it turns out. Made soaked flour waffles with the clabbered milk this am and they were outrageously good.

  5. Pssst. fresh whole cream, or reduced whole milk, is also yummy in place of “evaporated” milk. Add an egg to compensate for the thickness.

  6. Sarah Pope says:

    Wilderness Family Naturals has whole coconut milk in tetrapacks.

  7. This is a great recipe! I made it for today but learned something interesting… if you are using freshly ground organic cloves, you have to reduce it to 1/2 tsp otherwise the clove is overpowering. I also added a 1/2 tsp of celtic salt. My great grandma taught me that from her recipe and it makes a tasty difference.

  8. Kimberly Hartke says:

    My pie turned out wonderful with the clabbered milk. I used mostly curds after whisking them smooth. Then I added the whey to the batter until it was the desired consistency,

    I used an almond meal crust, just pressed almond meal into the bottom of the pie plate then poured in the batter on top. No pre-baking necessary.

    Thanks, Sarah for a wonderful new pie recipe!

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