My mom didn't feel like I did justice to the pumpkin pie post, so, I thought I would share the recipe as well as the process involved in making a pie from scratch. If you're the kind of person who already does this, I apologize in advance for boring you with this recipe. If, however, you are the kind of person who buys their pies from the bakery or from the frozen food section of the local Piggly Wiggly, you may find this useful.
The recipe starts with whole, fresh, sugar pumpkins. You can easily find these in the produce section of that Piggly Wiggly this time of year, or, you can slave over them in your garden all summer long, battling squash bugs like it's your job (which, it will be; squash bugs are the devil).
Slice the pumpkins open, scoop out the seeds and slimy membranes (reserve for roasted seeds, if that's how you roll), place cut-side-down on a cookie sheet, poke rind with a sharp knife in several places to allow steam to escape, and bake in a 350 degree oven for an hour to an hour and a half, depending on the size and thickness of the pumpkin. You will know the pumpkin is done when a fork will insert easily into the rind when poked (dirty!).
When the pumpkins are done baking, allow to cool until they can be easily handled. Peel the rind off the pumpkin, place flesh in a bowl and puree with an immersion blender until smooth (or, use a blender. Or, a food processor. Or, if you are feeling super-Hulk-like rage, beat the hell out of that shit with your bare hands, whatever floats your boat).
Allow the puree to sit for an hour or so and drain off any excess liquid that accumulates. Then, in a mixing bowl, blend together:
1 1/3 cups pumpkin puree
1 1/3 cups sweetened condensed milk
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 cup hot water
Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake for about an hour at 375 degrees. The center of the pie will be slightly jiggly, but, don't freak out and stick it back in the oven; it's done, I promise.
Now, hopefully, your pie will be lovely and Norman-Rockwell-Thanksgiving-picture-perfect, mine, however, turned out super-unattractive this year. I blame the homemade crust that Mom insisted we make (I suck at crust! The Pillsbury Company exists for a reason!). However, whipped cream can hide a multitude of sins, so, if your pie is ugly like mine, go forth and build a three or four inch whipped cream hat on that sucker and call it good.
Or, you know, just eat the damn thing; it may look ugly, but it tastes amazing.