It's that time of year again. Hallowe'en. Punkin' time. My father-in-law had some wonderful pumpkins, just like he has had for the past decades, just for me. Of course, having a teenager in the house means that no one is interested in making a jack-o'-lantern any more. He just wants to watch the "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" on DVD....
So what else do you do with a pumpkin? Germans like to pickle bits of pumpkin, my friend John makes a spaghetti with sliced pumpkin fried in garlic (it is really delicious!), and oh yes, there is pumpkin pie! Of course the recipe just states "1 can pumpkin". No such thing on the shelves over at Kaiser's. Yes, I know. KaDeWe has canned pumpkin. 4,95 € a can (used to be 4,95 DM). At that price, I make myself.
So "all" I have to do is cook down the pumpkin. I do this every year. I think: this year I will do it without spritzing pumpkin all over the kitchen. Something always goes wrong.
The first two batches in the pressure cooker were fine. Peel the pumpkin, remove all the yucky inner stuff (save and pull out the seeds!), cube and stuff in the pressure cooker for 15 minutes. Then drain. And drain. And drain some more. I swear, pumpkins consist of 75% water....
So here I was, feeling like a real pro. Had 4 cups of mashed pumpkin already produced and was on the last batch. However, I managed to not close the pressure cooker right. After I wondered why it wasn't spitting at me, I re-fit the lid and let the pressure cooker get to work. I unfortunately decided to pass the time doing email/Skype/surfing. I didn't need to prepare pumpkin for the next batch. My olfactory organ let me know that something was amiss.
Yep. Scorched Pumpkin.
Yuck. I was able to save a cup or so from the middle, the rest was already carmelized (there is some sugar in the pumpkin). I remembered that my Mom had this recipe for "scorched pumpkin pie", that is, you first deliberately scorch the pumpkin, then you continue. Since I had a nice mess of scorched pumpkin, I dug for the recipe and set in.
Lillis Weber’s Scorched Pumpkin Pie (9“ pie) (1965)
1 ½ cups purée pumpkin
¾ cup brown sugar, packed
¾ cup evaporated milk
½ tsp ginger
¾ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp boiling water
½ tsp salt
¼ cup 12% cream
Set oven to 450° F. Cook pumpkin over direct heat, stirring until it is dried out and slightly caramelized (scorched but not burned). Remove from heat. Beat eggs, stir in sugar, milk, spices (blended to a paste with the hot water). Stir in pumpkin, salt & cream until well blended. Bake 15 min., then reduce heat to 300° (open oven to drop temp rapidly) and bake 25 min. longer. [Needs longer if you don’t scorch the pumpkin enough - dww]A 40-year old recipe! And you know, I have tried this before (cf. the nasty comment I wrote on the card). But I never had the patience to scorch the pumpkin enough. Now, with a pot of scorched pumpkin, I just had to add the rest of the ingredients and bake.
The lickings were great. The pie smelled absolutely wonderful. My mouth is watering. Lucky Achim, gets the pie as a birthday present tomorrow (if I can keep the teenager and his goony friends off of it). I hope to get at least a sliver for myself ......