Navigating faith, love, and life in the Netherlands

Friday, November 1, 2013

Cooking Adventure: Pumpkin Pie

I have never attempted to make pumpkin pie.  Ever.

The following details my attempt to make pumpkin pie.  From scratch.  Without "common" or easy-to-find American ingredients.

Here goes.

After a simple Google search, I discovered this helpful link:  How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Pie - from a Real Pumpkin, Not a Can! - Easily! With Step-by-step Directions, Photos, Ingredients, Recipe and Costs.  And yes, that was the real title. 

It truly was helpful to suggest multiple variations on the recipe, as well as to convert some measurements to metric.  I have measuring cups/spoons in the US system but it's hard to figure out ounces of cream when you're at the store.  :)

Here is my commentary on the website's instructions, and what my experience was.

1-3. Get your pumpkin and prepare for cooking; scoop out the seeds.

I actually decided on a whim to make a pie.  When I was at the groenteboer (produce store), I spotted 3/4 of an orange...squash thing.  I tried to tell the gal at the counter that I wanted to make a pumpkin pie and didn't know how much I should use.  She kindly offered to look it up on the internet, and then cut the right amount off for me.

It then sat in my fridge for a few days as I waited for time to cook it.

4-5.  Cooking the pumpkin until it is soft; scoop out the insides.
 I cooked it for 20 minutes, then another 20 minutes (nonconsecutive), then for 45-60 more after that.

 The result of cooking....and cooking....and some more cooking.  I then had to wait till it cooled so I could hold it in my hand!

6-7.  Puree the pumpkin/done with the pumpkin!

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that our hand mixer also had another mixer attachment.  I thought, Wow! I can use this to puree the pumpkin - I've never used one of these before!  Nope.  Didn't work.  So I went back to the normal mixer/beaters.

Step 8. Make the pie crust. 

 I was going to use the link on the same page for their recipe, but discovered I would have to hunt down Crisco or some other replacement.

My grandmother saved the day by saying I could use margarine instead, so I used her recipe.

See the glass on the left of the photo? That was my rolling pin.

According to her recipe, I could've made 4 crusts at once.  I decided to cut the recipe in half.  As you can see, there were definitely not 2 pie crusts.

9. Mix the pie contents.

There was WAY too much liquid!  I should've put less whipping cream in! Through the start of the baking process I was afraid I would have warm pumpkin vla instead of pumpkin pie.

10, 11. Pour into the pie crust and bake the pie.

And hope for the best for the next hour or more.

12. Cool the pie.

My grandmother's pie was much darker than this -- this looks like a sweet potato pie!  I made mini crustless "pies" in a muffin tray and they tasted okay. 

The pie is now cooling and hopefully I can keep from eating it find space in the freezer to keep it until Thanksgiving. 

Yum yum!

PS Another helpful link can be found here, with easier ingredient substitutions:
evaporated milk --> koffiemelk
Somewhere I also read that speculaas spice could replace pumpkin pie spice -- and we have a whole container in our kitchen!  Next time...

As an added bonus for making it all the way through this blog, here's what my banana bread looked like:

It was a bit...deflated (without the baking soda)....but still tasted wonderful.

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  1. I've spent many hours looking up recipes that would work for the country I was living in! I typically will look at several recipes and then decide if I need to substitute or if a different recipe calls for something else. Pumpkin pie spice can be made from a mix of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger. Works great! And to help with runny pumpkin puree, try straining it with cheese cloth (if you have it), if not try with a paper towel in a strainer. It helps a lot! Did it taste good? Looks great!

    1. Yes, it was tasty! I thought about making my own pumpkin pie spice, but decided not to since I didn't want to buy cloves and nutmeg only to use them once or twice. I'll try straining the pumpkin next time and see what happens!

  2. Ok- so it was kismet that you commented today on my blog (thank you) and you have this post up! It is EXACTLY what I need- and I am not kidding. I bought two of the 'eating' pumpkins last month with the intent to make pumpkin pie. It's absolutely a goal of mine to make it this year- thank you!!- Farrah

    1. Are you planning on participating in any expat-ish Thanksgiving meals? Or just some time at home with family?
      If you want the crust recipe, let me know and I'll be happy to send it!

  3. So have you learned to take a grocery list to the store with both English and Dutch on it? I've had to do that in Spanish and German both! You might be surprised about how much you could use pumpkin pie spice if you made a batch (I have recipes for small batches too) - pumpkin pancakes, overnight pumpkin french toast... I'm SO enjoying your experiences! Blessings!

    1. Thanks! Mostly I know what to get at the store...the list changes language based on what mode my brain is in at the time of writing it :)


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