Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving, Cinderella

It starts like this -

And they grow, and they grow, and they grow... (I've heard that the secret mulching ingredient is sheep poop...)

and then, suddenly, the kitchen is full of pumpkins

Ready to go into the oven - I put about 1/4 cup of water in the pan and cover the whole thing with foil - bake at 400 degrees for a couple of hours (until you can stick a fork into it easily)

This one looks pretty nice - better save some seeds for next year!

Out of the oven - those foil turkey roaster pans are great for roasting pumpkin as well.

I use a spoon and scoop the pumpkin off of the skin, put it in my BIG yellow Tupperware bowl (what would we do without that big yellow bowl?) mash it all up, and put two cups into 1 qt. freezer bags (just enough for one pie)
that are flattened out and put into our deep freeze.

Then - TA DA!

This has been dubbed "The Best Yet" by John - & he loves pumpkin pie. I have started making it with part Splenda (tm) because he is trying very hard to cut back on his sugar. Here is the recipe that I have come up with.

The Best Yet Pumpkin Pie

Preheat oven to 365 degrees F. Prepare piecrust for 9" pie or just roll one out of those packages and press into your pieplate. Fold edges under and crimp

2 cups Pumpkin (one 15 oz can or your own from the freezer, thawed, of course)
1/2 cup Splenda
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. Pumpkin pie spice (I use Pampered Chef Cinnamon Plus - it's the BEST)

3/4 cup low fat evaporated milk (this is 1/2 of a can - I freeze the other half in one of those plastic freezer containers to use later in cream sauces or soups)

2 eggs - beat them a little with a fork first

In a deep bowl, mix all ingredients in order given. You can use more or less spices according to your family's taste. Use a mixer to combine - (I have found that the "fresh" pumpkin needs to be mixed with a mixer to kind of break down the fibers a little - or better yet use a blender - but make sure you put the milk in first so your motor doesn't bog down and put the eggs in very last thing - don't blend them too much)

Pour filling into prepared crust and bake for 50 - 60 minutes - until a knife comes out clean -I've found that the packaged crust needs a lower oven temp (350) and bakes a little longer (on the 60 minute side of things)

Allow to cool before serving. (I like sweetened whipped cream on mine) - John likes Dairy Queen soft serve ice cream - We have much to be thankful for! Enjoy!

Oh, and the Cinderella part - after putting up about 45 pounds of pumpkin (25 for church and 20 for us, so far) EVERY piece of clothing I have worn for the past two weeks has pumpkin on it - Somehow I got it in my eye the other night and I even found pumpkin in my hair one day - eewww - I now know what it would be like if Cinderella missed that midnight deadline and the coach exploded all over her - pumpkin everywhere!

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