Pumpkin time

More colds, sleepless nights and grizzly days and it’s not even winter yet. Amelia J has today with Nan-nan while I have to do some designs for some screen prints for Thursday but all I really want to do is to curl up under the covers with a cup of coffee and a good book.
Speaking of winter and wintry things, when I was in grade 7 an American girl attended my school for a year or so and we became good friends. I went home to her place for dinner one cold June night and her father had made Pumpkin Pie – a dish that is totally foreign to me and this country. I tasted it with trepidation but it was so delicious that I can remember it very clearly – the colour, the consistency and the taste almost 20 years later (20 years?? sheesh). A few years back on my first trip to Canada to meet Big-P’s family and experience a Northern Hemisphere Christmas, Big-P’s Mum (Mom) baked a pumpkin pie and it was as amazing as I remembered. Smooth and silky and delicious with a huge blob of whipped cream.

I have always thought it might be something that I would like to try and bake at home so that Amelia J can have a little taste of some of her cultural heritage – what a brilliant excuse for total indulgence! So this weekend, being cold and wintry and perfect pumpkin pie weather, I boiled up some pumpkin (no such thing as canned pumpkin around here) and made the Moosewood filling and poured it into Stephanie’s delicious short crust, although, I cheated and mixed it in the blender rather than by hand. This was kind of a practice run as Amelia is still on her no-dairy diet but it was so incredibly successful that I am keen to make it every weekend for the entire Autumn / Winter 2004. Actually, the filling was really easy but I was more impressed with the pastry. You can see that it looks pretty uneven and will take me a while to get the hang of, but being able to make pastry opens up a whole world of pies and tarts and delicious things that all seemed too hard before.

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46 Responses

  1. I LOVE pumpkin pie and that one looks divine! I want to go home now and make pumpkin foods!
    These stories remind me of when, back in my teens, working at Safeway, an American customer just HAD to have canned pumpkin to make his p.p. Well, I had never heard of such a thing, neither had any one else that worked there. (Of course we didnt stock it). He wouldnt buy the fresh kind and cook it himself either…it had to be tinned. By the end he had us all running around and the store manager promised to find it for him somehow, somewhere!

    My husband and most men in my family… Granpa, Dad and brothers claim to hate pumpkin. What I do in the case of P.P and Pumpkin cheescake is tell them its caramel/spice pie. They wolf it down and i get a secret chuckle. I learnt that little trick of my mum.

  2. I’m sure that Big-P also appreciates the reminders of home! I had my first and only pumpkin pie experience when I was in the US for Thanksgiving in 2000 and it (the whole Thanksgiving dinner) was a very memorable experience for me.

  3. Claire. I posted my “secret recipe” pumpkin pie on YGG. http://www.yougrowgirl.com/use/recipe_pumpkinpie.php
    It’s dairy-free and really good. One secret is roasting the pumpkin in the oven with the spices and a bit of maple syrup (if you can get that) rather than boiling.

  4. That pumpkin pie recipe on YGG looks so delicious and I love the idea of roasting the pumpkin. I will definitely try that one next time. Thanks Gayla.

  5. lenaparsons@comcast.net says:

    when i lived in denmark i would pay rediculous amounts of money for canned pumpkin to make a pie for parties. it was always so fun.

  6. kelly@silverorange.com says:

    Here in Canada, the long weekend in October, (the start of our Winter), would not be complete without pumpkin pie. In May at this weekend,(Mothers Day) the tradition here on the East Coast at least is Boiled Lobster, first catch of the season. With melted garlic butter, salad and fresh rolls, YUM!

  7. ginhead@excite.com says:

    Crap. I want me some of that.

  8. loobylu@plinth.org says:

    Awesome! Last summer I made pumpkin pie ice cream from some frozen pumpkin meat I had cooked the previous autumn and stashed away. It turned out very well.
    I’ve also heard that other winter squash (butternut, hubbard, etc) make better tasting pumpkin pie that pumpkin…

  9. The pie looks divine, Claire!If you would like, I could easily send you some canned pumpkin! I’d be more than happy to do so!
    When I was an exchange student (and spent a year away from my home in the U.S.), I missed our food so much…one of them, coincidentally, was my mother’s pumpkin pie!

  10. bethpowell75@hotmail.com says:

    Well done! You’re making me hungry, it looks wonderful.

  11. Mm…that pie looks yummy. Not something I should be looking at right now, at 12:53am…..when I’m supposed to be writing my paper…

  12. You should get hold of Nigella Lawson’s How To Be A Domestic Goddess. 300 pages of amazing cakes and she makes it all sound easy. Also, try chocolate pie (Jamie has a good recipe in his first book) and rhubarb pie – home-made rhubarb pie is fantastic, hot from the oven, with ice-cream – I’ll send you the recipe if you want! I have to stop now, otherwise I’ll have to leave work and bake pies instead 😉

  13. Oh wow. I’ve never had pumpkin pie, but I’m more thrilled by you breaking down the barrier of your ‘pastry fear’. I have a chronic case of it, but you’ve given me hope. (Now all I need is something bigger than a toaster oven.)

  14. wow, that pie looks SO delicious! i’ve always been a a bit wary of pumpkin pie (a silly apprehension i have of putting vegetables into sweet things, but i suppose that pumpkin is actually quite sweet anyway). i’m going to check out the YGG recipe. bummer that pumpkin (so ubiquitous in oz) is practically impossible to get here except for one short month or so in autumn…and even then not the delicious creamy varieties i remember, just watery stringy orange wodges *sigh*

  15. dasentchen2@yahoo.com.au says:

    I’m an Aussie too and have never tasted pumpkin pie. For me, that’s something people eat in American sitcoms!

  16. kateri@wi.rr.com says:

    My mother used to make pumpkin custard and I searched and searched for a recipe till I discovered it was just pumpkin pie filling baked in a casserole with no crust. My kids have always preferred this to the pie version–all the better to stir in the whipped cream and eat it like a kid–and they are in their 20s now! Anyway–pour the pumpkin mixture in a casserole, and bake like you would a custard–in a water bath, till a knife inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean. Mine usually take about 1 1/4 hours. Happy autumn!! P.S. Pumpkin makes EXCELLENT cake too, with cream cheese frosting……

  17. That pie looks so good, i want to jump into my computer screen and eat every little pixel!r

  18. I’m Australian, and have eaten pumpkin pie as long as I can remember – perhaps my mother’s family picked it up in the year they lived in Hawaii? I’ll have to investigate. Until reading this, I had thought that everyone in Australia ate pumpkin pie. 🙂

  19. Would you believe that very few people in the UK eat pumkin (or any other winter squash). My aussie husband introduced me to roast pumpkin and then we moved on to making pumpkin pie – wonderful stuff.

  20. hgielool@yahoo.co.nz says:

    I’d never met anybody in New Zealand who ate pumpkin pie until I stayed at a friends place as a teenager. I couldn’t believe that a vege I hated so much (and still do) could taste so devine. The sad thing is that’s the only morsel I’ve ever had and fifteen years later I can still remember every mouthful. You’ve inspired me to get off my backside and try baking one myself!

  21. another yummy thing with pumpkin are pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (who knew?). the health food store near my home sells them and they are really delicious.

  22. Yes, pumpkin and chocolate make a delicious combination. I used to make pumpkin and chocolate bread

  23. In our house both father and son with birthdays in October request Birthday Pie instead of cake. This is a punpkin pie with a thin layer of sauteed apples (with butter, cinnamon and apple cider) on the bottom .( I can send this recipe as well) Never would have occured to me that pumpkin pie is not a universal food. Here in Canada, we are starting to get the most amazing warm weather.(I shouldn’t say that too loud) How cold is winter in Melbourne? Probably just “sweater weather” to us northerners.

  24. your post made me hungry!
    for me, the strongest pumpkin-pie association is thanksgiving. after you’ve stuffed yourself with food until you think you’re going to burst, and everyone is close to falling asleep, mom comes out of the kitchen and yells, “who wants pumpkin pie?” and your stomach magically makes room.

    btw, usa foods in east bentleigh (www.usafoods.com.au) sells canned pumpkin, along with other convenience foods you never knew you needed. my mom has a great recipe for pumpkin cheesecake, too, if you want it.

  25. juliaasl@hotmail.com says:

    Beautiful pie! Your pastry does not look uneven to me. It looks great!Just call it “rustic”. Try making sweet potato pie, you’ll love it

  26. mmm my boyfriend is Canadian and one of the things he misses most about home is the pumpkin pie!
    I too roast my pumpkin, but then again i do boil it. just depends on what mood i am in.

    Claire, the pie looks fantastic!! You should be very very pleased with it.

    You should try your hand at preogies and also another favourite i learnt from Ty’s step mum BUTTER TARTS!@!! i love them. they are to die for. mmmmm i want to bake now…

  27. blossomscottage@bigpond.com says:

    Pumpkin fruit cake is fav here in my house too…yummy
    I’m going to try the pumpkin pie though. It sounds delish!

  28. cooking.twentynine.org are some recipes that i got from Canada… with perogies and butter tarts, hashbrown casseroles (YUM!) and zucchinni casserole (requires stove top, chicken, get that from usafoods.com.au)

  29. Two days after I moved from Pennsylvania to Melbourne, my husband and I made Thanksgiving dinner for his family.
    They were all thinking “yuck..pumpkin in a ..pie?” and some asked for very small pieces.
    Well, after the first taste they were hooked. Now every time there is a family event, I am requested to bake pumpkin pies for it!! We just had some on Mother’s Day!

  30. p.s. I have to steam and food-process mine too..and I find that the regular pumpkin in the veg section works fine.We use butternut when in the States, and it is good. But the pumpkin here tastes just as good anyway.

    I first had roast pumpkin and pumpkin soup here..and love those too.

  31. If you’d like, that same pumpkin concoction is also good as ravioli filling, with a browned butter, sage, and toasted almond sauce on top.
    : )

  32. Good heavens, ur blog is soooo cute! I luv ur illustrations :))

  33. anna@b.com says:

    Oh we –love– pumpkin pie here in the US, especially at Thanksgiving. If you get a chance, try sweet potato pie. It’s even better!

  34. Of course it’s almost summer here in the States and you are somehow making me crave pumpkin pie :o)
    (And I second the sweet potato pie opinion – it’s my all time favorite)

    Did you roast the pumpkin seeds??

  35. Oh, I love pumpkin pie!
    It reminds me that Winter is on its way.

  36. it is the first time for me to visit your blog…
    wow it is so soft and i like all of your illustration, they are so cute….

    I ve also never tried pumpkin pie, but I would be glad if u can share the recipe… it looks yummmmmmmmmy

  37. Hi, i’m from portugal and i don’t remember ever eating pumkin pie. We use it more for soup and delicious christmas cakes (they’re called “sonhos” which translates as “dreams”). Don’t give up on the pastries though… your pie looks extra yummy!!!

  38. conversely, on my first trip to australia, i was confounded by the use of roast pumpkin as a side dish with christmas dinner. it was good, but i still prefer it in dessert form. especially in the cheesecake form i experimented with this past thanksgiving.

  39. meg_d_woodsperson@yahoo.com says:

    i want i want!!!
    It’s 12:22 am here, and that pie’s giving me the biggest craving ever! Now how am I suppose to sleep now?

  40. the lighting of your photo captures your description of pie eating weather

  41. looks woondoofah to me girlie girl! I cannot believe how big Amelia is now! Bout time for another one, huh? LOL Have a great day , Sweetie!

  42. I remember in the first grade, everyone got to guess the diameter of the pumpkin and the winner got to take the pumpkin home. I won, and people were saying to me “Are you going to go home and make it into a pumpkin pie?” I grimaced. Pumpkin in a pie?! Yuck!
    However, years later, I decided to try some, and it is very good. 🙂

    It’s funny how pumpkin pie texture stays with you in your memory.

  43. thatgirl@rondicasmith.com says:

    It is funny to hear anyone refer to pumpkin as a vegetable. I don’t think I had pumpkin in anything besides pie until I was in my late 20’s. For us, it was always a dessert!I had to stop and think, of course it is a veggie!!!
    Your crust looks amazing! Could you share the recipe?

  44. What I want to know is how (and why?) did you get the pie out of the tin? You obviously didn’t use a conventional pie plate.

  45. we grow pumpkins every year – i have this really neurotic obsession with “thumping” them with my hands. you know, like playing a bongo or something. i get so that i have to visit them everyday and give them all a nice thumpin.and then i go back on my OCD meds and i’m okay again.
    and pumpkin pie rules. its the cloves.

  46. The short crust is *amazing* and looks like a deep dish tart!Would love to have the recipe for that or to know which book it came from please!
    My babies love pecan pie and apple.
    Chocolate pecan pie is the yummiest with cream.