Thursday, November 26, 2015

Great-Grandma's Pumpkin Pie

So there are some recipes that you just do NOT mess with.   Just... no.   I mean, I love to tweak recipes and try new variations.  But some things are sacred.  Some things you just put in a place of honor and leave it there.  Some recipes have already been tweaked to perfection by generations that have gone before and there's just no use trying to improve upon perfection.

Two such recipes in our family are my mother's recipe for German Christmas Stollen that was brought to America from Germany several generations ago. The recipe is a couple of pages long and I actually drew myself a flowchart of the process so as to not get confused.  But worth every minute.   Someday when I have a free week or two I may post that one to the blog.

The other untouchable recipe in our family is my Great-Grandma's pumpkin pie recipe.  It is a classic pumpkin pie, improved by the omission of a common pumpkin pie ingredient.  (*spoiler alert*  it's cloves.)  The omission of the cloves actually makes a prettier pie (less brown, more orange) and the flavors are exactly right.

So here you go, my great-grandma's recipe for excellent pumpkin pie.  Don't mess with it.

The Step-by-Step

First, we beat the eggs.  Grab a fork or a whisk and get to work.

In a separate smallish bowl mix the ginger and cinnamon into the sugar.

Next, add the pumpkin to the eggs.  You can use canned pumpkin or cook your own pumpkin.   Also add the sugar mixture at this point.

Now incorporate the evaporated milk (Ok, confession time.  I have messed with the recipe out of necessity and used heavy cream  instead of evaporated milk.  You have to cross a couple of international borders from here before you can find evaporated milk, so I declare myself forgiven for messing.)

Pour the filling into your unbaked crust.

My grandma's instructions are to bake one hour in a "slow oven".  Apparently this translates to about 300-325F (150-160C).

Let it cool completely and refrigerate until time to serve.

The Recipe

Makes one 9-inch pie (8 slices)

1 unbaked pie crust
2 cups cooked pumpkin puree
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 small can (⅔ cup) evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 300-325F (150-160F)

Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl.

Combine the sugar and spices in a small bowl.

Add pumpkin to eggs and mix in.

Add sugar mixture to pumpkin.  Then add the evaporated milk and beat until smooth.

Pour into unbaked crust and bake on lower rack for one hour or until toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool completely.  Serve with freshly whipped cream.