I made the PPB Great Pumpkin Pie yesterday as sort of a trial run before the holidays. I’ve learned the hard way that some people are very particular about the big meal and it’s best not to mess with tradition (and introduce new recipes) on Thanksgiving Day.
Absolutely wonderful and delicious and, like all of Rose’s pie recipes, it tastes purely of pumpkin with the spices playing a minor role. I don’t even like pumpkin pie but I really enjoyed this.
And at the risk of sounding like a broken record, the PPB is a Godsend. I’m now turning out beautiful, delicious pies that I can be proud of. What used to be a frustrating, disheartening chore has now become pure pleasure.
Rose’s recipe is a good one. It can be even better with fresh pumpkin. I have been urging people to try fresh pumpkin for years. It is simple to prepare fresh and it tastes better than canned. Cut the fresh pumpkin into quarters and scoop out the interior. Cut the quarters into pieces about 4 inches square. Place them on a baking sheet skin side down and bake at 300F for two hours. After the pieces have cooled it is easy to peel the skins. Process in a food processor. If your pumpkin is large you can freeze the extra chunks for future pies.
Thanksgiving is just a month ago and so unbelievable. I still have some of Rose’s rasp-cranberry sauce from last year in my freezer.
Strong debate on fresh vs canned. Canned offers the best smooth texture.
I made the mistake on using a novelty pie pan, and the pie crust didn’t have a crisp bottom. Be sure your pie pan has a smooth and flat bottom (outside), so it is in direct contact over your hot baking stone or oven floor.
This year I won’t host, but I do need to make the Cranberry Chiffon Pie, I must as I am unsure how much longer my freezer should labor.
Do try Rose’s Pecan Pie baked on a tart pan, it is a 20 year classic and now widelly imitated and rewritten.
Gene, I couldn’t agree with you more, fresh pumpkin is the best. So easy to prepare, but I do mine differently. I used to cut it into cubes, steam until done, and put everything through a food mill to get out the skins and stringy parts. I got this tip from Cooks Illustrated some years ago. Simply pierce the whole pumpkin all over with a large meat fork. And I mean pierce all over - lots of holes. Put on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any moisture that may drip out, and bake at 350 degrees for an hour, depending on the size of your pumpkin, until soft when pierced with that same meat fork. Check every 14 minutes for doneness. Then scoop out the flesh from the skin, and run through the food mill. After it’s all food milled, line a collander with 4 layers of cheesecloth. Put the pureed flesh in, cover with cheesecloth and a plate to fit the collander. Weight down with at least 5 pounds, even more, and let it drip for at least 2 hours to get excess water out. Then measure into containers and freeze, or make your pie.
Also make sure to use the right kind of pumpkin, the jack-o-lantern type is not for pies. Ask at your local farm market for a cheese pumpkin. It’s really pale colored, and looks sort of like a wheel of cheese, very flat looking.
I am just going to guess from “experience” that pumkin puree home made tastes a lot better than canned. But texture, canned is smoother. I personally wouldn’t mind a bumpy coarse chuncky pumpin pie thought.
Have you tried freezing your fresh pumpkin puree prior to using. Freezing breaks the cell walls of plants, thus releasing maximum flavor. It is a great trick used on almost all fresh fruit purees. It should smooth things out, too.
Love these tips on pumpkin! I bet you can get a really good texture and flavor too with the fresh pumpkin if you combine food processing, draining, and freezing. Maybe I’ll try it for this Thanksgiving…
I agree with Patrincia…and I don’t really like pumpkin pie either, but rose’s recipe is very good. And rose does comment in the recipe on the consistency of canned pumpkin. I am the first person to go to crazy lengths to use all fresh ingredeints…but if Rose says that canned pumpkin is better…then I use canned.
Hector, I always bake and prepare my pumpkin puree ahead of time, mine for this year has been in the freezer for over a month now. I portion it out in 2 cup containers so it’s all ready to be pie on demand.
I have used the whole wheat cream cheese pie crust for a few sweet pies, though usually I only use it for quiche. I find the increased wheat-y flavor and grittier texture not really the best match for sweet fillings, especially creamy ones like custard. When I have used it, it has been for a firm, tart apple pie.
If you do use the whole wheat variation, you can grind the whole wheat flour in the food processor to make it as fine as possible to improve the texture. And make sure the flour is fresh, it goes rancid quickly. I keep mine in the freezer, otherwise I notice a rancid smell just a month or so after opening a bag.
I don’t have Rose’s PPB, maybe some nice person will get it for me as a holiday gift. In the meantime, I’m making a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving and need some advice. Should I partially bake the crust before I put in the filling? I don’t like soggy bottom crusts. I would prefer not to bother with partial baking if I can get a good result by just putting the filling into an unbaked crust and following time/temp instructions. Can someone recommend where in the oven I should place my pie (middle, lower third, close to the floor, floor) so that it bakes properly? I’ve made many pumpkin pies, but the bottom crust is often soggy. Thanks for your help!
p.s. I love fresh pumpkin, too, but have found many to be inconsistent re: flavor. I’ve gone the way of the can for pies and haven’t been disappointed. I bet Rose’s recipe is wonderful!