Chrissy’s Pumpkin Pie…From Scratch

First, I should let you know that even though I live a pretty healthy lifestyle, I don’t skimp on dessert. When I make desserts I use sugar and flour and shortening! You have to treat yourself and enjoy dessert. That’s how I live. Now, get your pie pants on and let’s make some pie!!!!

My dad has always been the pie maker in our family. I am not sure how he got started but for as long as I can remember, when holidays came around it was always my dad with the apron on. Once I got married and left the nest I started making pies. I’ll follow a recipe for various pies but pumpkin pie is my specialty. It’s mine! If I happen to be home around fall or the holidays I am the pumpkin pie maker.

When I left home, I took my dad’s pie crust recipe with me. I’ve never bought pre-made crust, ever. I used to make the crust and then just buy the already done pumpkin pie filling (the one that has all the spices and you just add an egg and evaporated milk) but one day I decided to try using an actual pumpkin. I have been racking my brain the last couple days trying to figure out how long ago it was that I used an actual pumpkin for the first time. I am going to say the first time was about 8 years ago. I don’t think I ever did it before my daughter was born but I cannot remember. I may have. Ugh. Getting off track. Since that first time, whenever it was, I have not bought pumpkin filling for a pie. I have made my pumpkin pies completely from scratch every time. Okay, I may buy a can of pumpkin if actual pumpkins aren’t around anymore, but only plain pumpkin, and then I add all my own stuff. Annnnnyyyway…let’s get to the baking shall we?!

This is actually the earliest in the fall season I have ever made a pie. I guess I can blame it on Lowes for having a great deal on pumpkins already. I spent at least 5 minutes picking up every single pumpkin to find the heaviest one. I am always going to get my money’s worth. $2.98 each is a super deal! They are usually that much per pound. So, home I went to “murder a pumpkin” (it’s what I say every year). But first, lemme take a selfie.

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Okay, let’s really get going now. First let’s start with cooking your pumpkin. If you bought a can of pumpkin, skip down to the crust recipe.

Cut your pumpkin in half. It’s not an easy task. I usually start about 2 inches under the stem and work one side until the bottom. Then I do the same on the other side. Once you have a cut on both sides you can pull the pumpkin apart. The stem will just break off onto one side. Next, scoop out all the seeds and as much of the stringy stuff as you can. Pretend you’re carving a pumpkin but you want the inside to be super clean. Once done, put your two halves face up on a baking sheet, cover with a foil tent, and put them in a 350-375 degree oven.

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Now, go do something with your time because it’s going to take at least an hour and a half to bake if not longer. At this point, I went and did yoga, took a shower, and cooked myself lunch. I checked the pumpkin after an hour and reset the timer for 30 minutes. I did this twice, so it was approximately 2 hours for the pumpkin to bake and get soft.

Once soft, I poked mine with a fork a bunch of times, let it cool for a bit just so that you don’t burn your hands when you’re scooping out all the pumpkin. You might see some liquid in the pumpkin halves as well letting you know they are done. Once cool enough, scoop out all the pumpkin. As you can see, I try to get every little spec out. Place in a bowl and set aside. Time for crust!!

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I turned my oven off now just to give it a break.

Items you will need for the crust and filling…
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Ingredients for Crust:
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup shortening
3 tbs butter
1/3 cup water
1 egg white (beaten until foamy)

Directions:
Put flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Cut butter and shortening into flour and salt. (See photo for cutting utensil) Your dough will be very chunky (see photo). Stir in water and egg white. Your dough ball will form now. Flour your work space and hands, and roll your dough. I like to put wax paper down and tape it to the counter; easy clean up.

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Place your flattened crust in your pie pan and set it aside.

But wait…do you have extra pie crust? Yes you do. What do you do with that? Make crust cookies, duh. Turn your oven back on to 425 (for the pie). Roll out your remaining dough and use a cookie cutter to make some shapes. Place those on a baking sheet, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or pumpkin pie spice, and throw em in the oven. I didn’t even wait for the temperature to get all the way to 425 (it was already pretty warm from the pumpkin). I cooked the cookies for about 6 minutes. Now you have a snack while your pie cooks. GENIUS!! Side note: my Christmas cookies are usually pie crust cookies. They are that good!!

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Time for the pumpkin filling. You will need:
1 1/2 cups cooked pumpkin
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
12oz evaporated milk (usually 1 can)
1 tbsp of pumpkin pie spice (a tbsp is really a lot. I’ve added more before and it’s too spicy. Stick with this much)

Measure out your cooked pumpkin before you start adding the ingredients. I had almost 3 cups. I put the extra in a bowl and put it in the fridge for later. That blog is coming later so stay tuned.

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Mix everything except the evaporated milk together. Slowly add the evaporated milk, mix, and pour into your pie crust. Those neat red things are silicone crust covers. If you don’t have those, make thin strips of foil to place around and over your crust.

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Place pie in oven for 15 minutes on 425. Turn the temperature down to 325 and continue cooking for another 50-60 minutes. Do the fork test in the middle. Viola!

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Later, enjoy a slice with your friends or family.

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We usually don’t share our pie; at least not the first one of the season. But I have shared before and this is what people say about it.

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If you used this recipe for the whole pie, or just the crust or filling, I’d love to hear how you liked it! Comment below. Happy Fall!!

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