Did you know that 2011 has been named the year of the pie? My little world makes sense now, even as 2011 is coming to a close, because in the past couple months I've experimented with a new pie crust recipe, been invited to a pie party, made 9 pies for a dear friend's wedding and have been seeing pictures of pies and recipes for pies everywhere. Did I mention I've eaten pie, too?
Fall is pie time, what with all the apples and squashes and sweet potatoes. And, if you're squirrel-ly like me, you keep blueberries and concord grapes and red raspberries and pie crusts tucked in your freezer just in case. In case you need a pie, of course.
This past Friday my mom and I spent most of the day baking 12 pies for the above mentioned wedding. My mom made three pecan pies and I made four grape and five pumpkin. We had our crusts made ahead of time (frozen in their pie plates) so between oven loads only the mixing of the fillings needed to be done. There was a lot of peering-into-the-oven-window throughout the day and just as much discussion about if the pies were done. If recorded, I'm sure our conversations would have sounded hilarious, but such is pie baking, particularly when it's for a special occasion. And it's not your usual oven. And you've got three or four in there instead of one.
But the following day, seeing all our pies lined up amidst warm apple cobblers, mini creme brulees, pumpkin cheesecakes and spiced cookies was so rewarding. I wish I had a picture to show of that, but on the joyous day when my friend became a wife, the power had gone off due to a winter storm and my camera cannot handle dim, albeit beautiful candle-lit, lighting.
So, here's to the year of the pie! And, just in case you don't have a pumpkin recipe that you love, this one should do nicely.
Makes two nine-inch pies.
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
4 large eggs
3 cups cooked and pureed pumpkin or squash (we use butternut squash)
18 ounces evaporated milk
Sift dry ingredients together. Stir in eggs, pumpkin and evaporated milk until blended well. Pour into two nine-inch pie crusts until 2/3 of the way full. Pour remaining pumpkin filling into a glass measuring pitcher. Place the pies onto the center oven rack and pour remaining filling into pies until very full. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes then decrease the heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 40-50 minutes. I know they're done when the center puffs up level with the edges and the custard begins to brown. Let cool completely or refrigerate before serving.