When I was about twelve I developed an obsession with with using “real” pumpkin. (I know the stuff in the cans is real; it just doesn’t seem as real as the stuff I bake that comes from a whole pumpkin I touched, you know?) I asked my mom how to do this and she just told me to call Grandma (Dad’s mom).
Grandma’s advice: cut pumpkin open, scoop out seeds, cut off shell, put in a pot with a cup of water and let it cook down. When it’s all just mush (I tend to help along some of the bigger chunks by smashing them with a spoon) gently boil off the excess liquid stirring often. And always use brown sugar instead of white in pumpkin pie.
Apparently most of the world uses the bake, scoop, and food process method (which I’ll have to try some time). But it’s sort of nostalgic for me to use her method of prep.
To add to the nostalgia I use the pumpkin pie recipe from Betty Crocker’s Pie And Pastry Cookbook (published 1968). My mom got a copy of this as a wedding present and I used it ALL the time growing up and made it clear that someday I wanted it. My mother somehow found it possible despite her completely computer unsavvyness to find a copy in pristine condition online as a Valentine’s Day present in 2009.
Again, I really should branch out and try some new pumpkin pie recipes but the old standby works every time, it’s easy, and delicious.
I have enough pumpkin for a pie plus something else…going for something different…a variation on classic pumpkin pie? A pumpkin pudding? Pumpkin bread?