I think one of my favorite pumpkin variety to use for baking is the long-necked kind (also called Pennsylvania Dutch Crookneck, or just simply neck pumpkins) – they are basically stringless and have nice color and great taste. I had two large neck pumpkins this weekend, courtesy of Jens & Grace’s garden and used all of it for baking.
After peeling and seeding, we cut the pumpkins into chunks, rinsed them and put them into a large pot to which we added some water.
We boiled them until tender – just a few minutes – drained them and let them cool a bit. I then used my trusty immersion blender, and mashed them into a smooth pulp. This can be substituted for any canned pumpkin that recipes call for.
Since it was Jens’s birthday (and he brought the pumpkins) I made pumpkin pie. Here is my basic recipe:
Single 9″ Pie Crust:
– 1/3 cup butter
– 1 tablespoon Crisco
– 1 cup flour
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– about 3 tablespoons of cold water
I use my Kitchenaid paddle attachment to cut the butter and shortening into the flour/salt mixture, until crumbs are the size of small peas. The slowly add water, until dough resembles the consistency of bread dough. Roll out into a circle on floured surface (I use a clean smooth kitchen towel). Pick up dough by loosely rolling it around the rolling pin and unroll into 9″ pie plate. Set aside and heat oven to 425 degrees.
Pumpkin Pie Filling (for 9″ crust)
– 2 eggs
– 2 cups cooked mashed pumpkin
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
– 1 large can evaporated (NOT condensed) milk
Beat eggs with whisk attachment until foamy, add pumpkin. Mix sugar, salt and spices in a small bowl and then add to egg/pumpkin mixture. Slowly pour in the milk until well blended.
Pour filling into prepared pastry and carefully place in oven. (some people prefer to put the pie plate into the oven – on a pulled out rack – and then pour the filling in – but I make more of a mess trying to slide the rack back into the oven, so I take my chances the other way)
Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake an additional 45 minutes (until knife inserted in center of pie comes out clean). Let cool and serve with whipped cream.