Pumpkins are the most iconic identifier that fall is finally here. Without these gorgeous vine-picked squashes, we wouldn’t have our beautiful fall porches, our memories of fall with family, and...just about everything pumpkin spice-related! Since there are so many ways to use pumpkins to ring in the fall season, it’s hard to remember some of their most basic origins. This includes the simple, but integral, pumpkin pie.
Here at McDonald Garden Center, we carry a wide variety of pumpkins to choose from heirloom to mini, carving to white pumpkins, the choices are endless. Some pumpkins, however, are better than others when it comes to pies and we have collected the information you need to give others (or yourself) the gift of a homemade pumpkin pie this season.
Picking Your Pumpkin
Turning your perfectly picked pumpkin into a delectable pumpkin pie starts with the choice of pumpkin itself. You can really make pumpkin pie out of any pumpkin you choose, however, some varieties are less watery and have fewer seeds than others. This is more desirable when trying to create a pumpkin puree for your pie. Traditional carving pumpkins have lots of seeds- which are great when it comes to their namesake- but not as desirable when you are trying to get as much “meat” from the pumpkin as you possibly can.
We recommend our pumpkin pie pumpkin ($5.99) for the classic orange color, the Blanco pumpkin ($9.99) if you are looking for a lighter look to your pie or the sunlight pumpkin ($7.99) for something in between. Or try all 3 for a trio of fall-colored pies!
Pie pumpkins are medium-sized and can sit in a regular mixing bowl comfortably. 1 medium pumpkin or 2 smaller pumpkins can make enough puree for one pie.
Making Puree from Scratch
Making pumpkin puree is not as hard as you might think. The hardest part really is cutting the pumpkin itself.
Preheat your oven to 350º F
Start by washing the exterior of your pumpkin. Once clean, cut the pumpkin in half vertically from stem to base. Scrape out all of the seeds and innards of the pumpkin (you may want to set these aside to roast later as a snack). After the pumpkin has been scraped, place the 2 halves skin side up on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and place in the oven for 30-40 minutes until fork-tender. You will know the pumpkin is done when the fork slides in without any resistance.
Take the pumpkin out of the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. After cooling, peel the skin off and cut the pumpkin into chunks. Place the pumpkin chunks into a food processor or high-speed blender until smooth. Once you have your puree, you may need to also drain any excess water. Either use a strainer or a cheesecloth to do this.
Your puree is now ready to make into pie.
Time for Pie!
Once you have your puree, it’s time to start making your filling. There are lots of different recipes to choose from for pumpkin pie and many of them are very simple. Here is a great one to follow:
Use your preferred crust recipe to line the pan.
Mix 2 eggs, slightly beaten, and 1 ½ cups of puree pumpkin
- ¼ cup of brown sugar (firmly packed)
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp ginger
- ¼ tsp of cloves
- ¼ tsp of nutmeg
Stir to combine. Add 1 ½ cups of evaporated milk
Bake at 425º F for 15 mins and then at 350º F for 40 mins.
For more information on pumpkins and our other fall faves, visit our blog here. For a list of our 2021 fall events, check out the attachment below.