My mother was thinking about her childhood the other day and announced that she thinks her family were pioneers. She was born while they lived in a logging camp where her dad had been hired by the logging company to be their doctor. My grandmother was his nurse and they were saving up the ten thousand dollars they needed to make their way to the city and open a medical practice in Beverly Hills (my times have changed!). My mom was born in that logging camp because there was a snow storm when my grandmother went into labor and they couldn’t get to the hospital.
When I think about how I used to live on a farm and I would go out to the garden on Saturdays and pick out a couple pumpkins from the pumpkin patch to make pies, I get a glimpse of how my mother feels. It’s different in the city. The pioneering ends when you move to the city and your brain gets rewired to think of everything coming in a can. But it’s okay. It’s a lot less work and the pies still taste wonderful! Don’t use canned whipping cream though. Whip it yourself.
- 1 1/8 cups flour*
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 stick cold butter, cut into 8 pieces
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 cup cold water
Place flour, sugar, cinnamon, butter and egg yolk in a food processor and process until small crumbs. With the processor still running, add the water and stop just before the dough forms a ball. Roll out on a floured board and place in a 9″ pie plate. Trim and flute the edges.
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar (you can use coconut sugar in place of the brown and white sugars)
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup canned pumpkin (Libby’s has the best texture and color)
- 1 cup evaporated milk or canned coconut milk**
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well blended. Pour into the crust and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, turn the heat down to 325 degrees and bake an additional 40 minutes or until center jiggles just a little. You can test for this by shaking the oven rack. Cool on a cookie rack.
Serve room temperature or chilled with whipped cream.
*For Gluten-free use a mixture of sorghum flour and gluten-free oat flour. It works just fine to press the crust into the pie plate rather than rolling it out which can be difficult with gluten-free flours.
**The texture will be different using coconut milk instead of evaporated milk. But if you have a problem with dairy, you won’t mind.
If you want to start with a fresh pumpkin, it is recommended to use Small Sugar, Pik-a-Pie, New England Pie and Baby Pam varieties of pumpkins for cooking.
Note: To keep the crust from getting too brown, make a foil collar and wrap it around the edges. To make a collar, you will need 4 3 inch pieces of foil. Attach them together in to a long strip by folding the ends together. Then shape the strip in a C shape to enclose the crust. Wrap the collar around the crust, fold the two ends (you may have to tear off 3 inches to make it the right size) and mold into place. I take the collar off for the last 10 minutes of cooking. If you normally brush milk on your crust, don’t as the wet crust can stick to the foil.