HOW TO COOK THE PUMPKIN

Wash a medium-size pumpkin, remove any remaining stem and cut it into quarters. Remove all of the seeds and stringy bits. Place the pumpkin in a baking pan, shell side down, and bake it in a moderate oven (325º) for about 30 minutes, or until it is tender and begins to fall apart. Scrape the pulp from the shell and gently compress it into a 2-cup measuring cup, squeezing out the excess moisture. A full 2 cups of pulp is used in this recipe.

MAKING THE PIE CRUST

Since this pie only has a bottom crust, these amounts are for half the usual recipe:

 

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt, and blend together thoroughly with a whisk or fork.

Add ½ cup of shortening. Pure lard is best, but Crisco or other vegetable shortening may be used (although my great-great-grandmother would be horrified!) Cut the shortening into 1 inch cubes and work it into the flour mixture using a pastry blending tool or two knives. Blend until the shortening has formed small lumps about the size of a large pea.

Add the ice water by dribbling it slowly into to the flour mixture, a small amount at a time. Gently mix the water into the dough with a fork as it is added. The exact amount of water required depends on several unpredictable factors, which include the type of flour, how it has been stored and the weather. There is no way to predict exactly how much water will be necessary, although sacrificing a chicken and reading the entrails might help. (This is frowned on in some jurisdictions.) The goal is to achieve a just barely cohesive ball of dough with a minimum of handling. Too much water and too much handling make a tougher crust.

Once the dough hangs together, wrap it in waxed paper and chill it in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. When you are ready to assemble the pie, take the dough out to warm up at least 15 minutes before rolling it out on a lightly floured surface. Rolling out the pie crust on parchment paper makes transferring it to the pie plate much easier.

 

MAKING THE FILLING

Line the bottom of a 9? pie plate with pie crust. A deep pie plate is best, but a regular one will do.

Separate 2 large eggs.

Combine:

Add ½ teaspoon salt to the 2 egg whites, and beat them until they are stiff, or until your arm is stiff, then fold them gently into the combined ingredients. Fill the pie shell with this mixture. The filling will expand slightly during baking.  Bake the pie in a hot oven (450º) for 15 minutes, then, without opening the oven door, reduce the temperature to 350º for an additional 30 to 40 minutes. The pie is fully cooked when a toothpick poked into the middle comes out clean.

Serve with whipped cream.  Stagger to sofa. Nap.

 

North American toMetric Conversions
1 teaspoon 5 ml
1 tablespoon 15 ml
1 fluid oz. 30 ml
1/4 cup 60 ml
1/2 cup 120 ml
1 cup 240 ml
2 cups (1 pint)

470 ml

4 cups (1 quart) .95 litre
4 quarts (1 gal.) 3.8 litres
1 oz. 28 grams
1 pound 454 grams

 

Oven Temperature Conversions
°F °C Gas Mark
275ºF 140º C gas mark 1-cool
300ºF 150º C gas mark 2
325º F 165º C gas mark 3-very moderate
350º F 180º C gas mark 4-moderate
375º F 190º C gas mark 5
400º F 200º C

gas mark 6-moderately hot

425º F 220º C gas mark 7- hot
450º F 230º C gas mark 9
475º F 240º C gas mark 10- very hot

 

Published November 1, 2011

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