Nov 21 2008
If I have told you once, I’ve told you many times at this point: I live in Germany. And, here there is no such thing as pumpkin pie.
However, there are plenty of pumpkins at this time of year. So, while I cannot go to the store and by a can of pumpkin to make pumpkin pie with, I can really really easily (in 20 minutes) make a homemade version that works perfectly.
How did I get this idea and why is there a baby cookbook in the picture???
When my son was younger, I used to cook all his baby food for him from scratch. I was introduced to this wonderful little book (in German) called “Das Baby-Kochbuch” – The Baby-Cookbook” with many many recipes divided up by age. It really helped me pull everything together. As one of the first meals they recommend feeding your child is pumpkin puré. I would have never come to that conclusion on my own, but my son was head over heals for it. Unfortunately, he also ended up being allergic to it.
I used to make large batches of everything, freeze small meal-sized portions, and defrost them in a bowl of warm water for him to eat them. Once we found out that he was allergic, I was left with a few frozen puréed pumpkin cubes and I decided to make pumpkin pie with them. I was so thrilled by how well it worked that I decided this Thanksgiving I would make my own as well.
In the recipe I will share with your bellow I use a Hokkaido pumpkin which has a light orange color as well as a mild flavor. So, if you like a milder pumpkin flavor than what you’re used to in the can, I recommend you use a Hokkaido pumpkin. If you want something stronger and more fragrant, I recommend going with “Nutmeg Pumpkin” – which I am translating directly from the German word of “Muskatkürbis”. If you don’t know what kind of pumpkin I am talking about, you can see a picture of it here named “Muskatkürbis”. It’s dark green on the outside and dark orange on the inside.
Moving on to the recipe…
600-650 grams Pumpkin (this weight is including peel and seeds)
300 grams Water (slightly less than 3/4th Cup)
1 Tablespoon + 1/4 teaspoon Vegetable or Peanut Oil* (low flavored oil is best)
Cut the ends off of the pumpkin, peel with a potato peeler, then cut in half. Scoop out the seeds and discard or save for further use in another recipe.
Slice the pumpkin into strips, and then chop.
Heat oil over high heat in a pot with a tight fitting lid. Add the pumpkin and stir until all the pumpkin is coated in oil.
Pour in the water, and give it a stir.
Place the lid on the pot and let it cook for 10 minutes. After 3 minutes of cooking on high, you can lower the heat to medium-high heat.
After 10 minutes of cooking the pumpkin should be really soft when pierced with a fork and easily mash as well.
Strain the liquid from the pumpkin. Discard or save for a vegetable soup later on.
Once the liquid has been discarded, puré the pumpkin with a food processor or by hand with a fork.
Because the initial puré, even if done in a food processor, leave tiny lumps and pieces, it is important to press it through a sieve. Just press it through with a fork, and don’t forget to scrape the majority of it off the bottom of the sieve.
You will be left with about 17 ounces or about 500 grams of pumpkin puré – a little more than what you need for pumpkin pie.
*Why is oil used in this recipe? Pumpkin is a vegetable that is very high in vitamin A, which is a vitamin that is only oil soluble – as opposed to vitamin C which is water soluble. In order to properly digest vitamin A, it should be consumed with the appropriate amount of oil.
Tomorrow Monday – how to make pie crust from scratch – including (hopefully) a video!