Did you ever stop and think about where pumpkin pie originally came from? There is really no time like the week of Thanksgiving to dabble in these types of thoughts, which is why you are about to be enlightened by the truth behind that classic pumpkin pie holiday dish. Believe it or not, it wasn’t your grandmother who came up with the tasty dessert. While she may not like the fact that she is no longer deserving of the credit, rest assured, the original pumpkin pie was made far differently than the one that we know today.
And it was invented by the pilgrims!
Today, pumpkin pie looks like any other pie, brimming with a tasty filling and topped with sweet whipped cream. It’s top is smooth, its crust is hearty and it simply looks delicious. But, when the pilgrims first made this holiday favorite, it looked a lot different than what we know today. Instead of a smooth pie exterior, the recipe of the past looked more like a pie, literally inside a pumpkin.
If you feel like getting in touch with history this Thanksgiving, you can try out the pilgrims’ version of pumpkin pie…
-First, you are going to get a pie pumpkin. These aren’t your average carving pumpkins, instead they are a little bit flatter, with grooves on the outside. They are also known as sugar pumpkins, and are smaller in shape than the monstrous pumpkins you’d find at your typical pumpkin patch. Pie pumpkins are commonly found in the grocery store in the produce section or at farm stands. This small, round pumpkin is packed full of flesh that makes it a good choice for cooking. The pulp also has a better texture, is sweeter, and a lot less grainy.
-Slice off the top of the pumpkin and clean out the inside, scooping diligently with your hand until it’s free of the guts and seeds.
-Set the pumpkin on a cookie sheet and cover with foil. You will then bake it at 400 degrees until it’s tender. A fork should easily be able to cut through the outside. A 15 pound pumpkin takes two hours to reach tender status, so do the math and bake accordingly.
Now, it’s time to make the custard. For this, you will need…
-1 cup brown sugar
-1 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin spice
-2 cans of evaporated milk (24 ounces)
-Whisk all custard ingredients together, until smooth and blended. It will be a liquid consistency.
-Use a ladle to remove any excess liquid from the inside of the pumpkin
-Pour the custard into the inside of the pumpkin.
-Lower the oven to 350 degrees and bake the pumpkin for one hour or until the custard firms up.
Your end result should look like your pie pumpkin on the outside. When you cut into it, you will surprise your guests with a tasty custard filling. It definitely looks more festive than the pumpkin pies that we’ve been raised to know.
Maybe you will bring back an old classic to your family’s Thanksgiving table!