Homemade Pumpkin Pie – all real ingredients – no evaporated milk
I avoid all things processed whenever possible. I like food made by people… like me and Mamaw. I don’t like food made by companies… like Keebler and Nestle. If I made it – it is good. If a company made it – no thanks.
I LOVE Libby’s Pumpkin Pie. I have always made the Libby’s Pumpkin Pie recipe. As my diet has changed, I have had to adapt many of my favorite recipes to include REAL food instead of processed foods.
If you want to eat the best pumpkin pie, but don’t want to eat evaporated milk made by Nestle or pie crust involving hydrogenated, non-food substances made by Crisco you have come to the right place!
I also have a little friendly competition going on between homemade pumpkin puree and the canned stuff from the store.
What I’ve learned this week about homemade pumpkin puree:
- Homemade pumpkin is definitely healthier, fresher and more organic (since I know exactly how the pumpkins were grown (here), harvested and handled as they became puree)
- Every blog every where says homemade pumpkin puree makes a better tasting pumpkin dish
- Homemade puree is more colorful, brighter and less firm than the canned stuff – here
- It tastes just like squash baby food – here
- In the pumpkin bread contest we had earlier this week the homemade stuff beat the canned variety – here
- A wonderful bi-product of making pumpkin puree is a crunchy, salty, tasty snack in the form of roasted pumpkin seeds – here
So far, the homemade puree is leading. In our pumpkin bread competition the homemade pumpkin puree beat the canned stuff by a nose. The flavor was a bit brighter and the overall bread tasted a little sweeter. The homemade variety definitely won the first round.
Today we are making pumpkin pie from scratch.
I’m baking 2 pies that will be identical except for the origins of the pumpkin. The contest will end with a blind taste test & we’ll see if homemade pumpkin puree is superior to the canned stuff once again.
- Cream (I am using raw cream from my Jersey cow – you can use heavy whipping cream for a replacement if you do not have a cow)
- Sugar (I am using organic cane juice crystals)
- Pie Crust (homemade)
First, I made the pumpkin pie filling. I am basically making the Libby’s recipe with a few adaptions:
- Instead of Carnation Evaporated Milk I am using Raw Cream
- Instead of sugar I am using Cane Juice Crystals
- In stead of using cinnamon, cloves and ginger I am using just cinnamon (when pumpkin pies have too much spice they taste like a clove cigarette to me). Since I don’t want to eat a clove cigarette I use just cinnamon.
Combine 1 1/2 Cups Cream, 2 large eggs, 3/4 Cup Sugar and whisk. Add salt, cinnamon and pumpkin & whisk again. Done.
Next, it’s time to roll out the pie crust:
- lay out a piece of foil
- sprinkle on some flour
- plop down your pie disk
- sprinkle it with more flour
- roll out the dough with rolling pin beginning in the center and rolling out toward the edges
To move the crust into the pie pan:
- lift one side of the foil up and drape the pie crust over the rolling pin
- continue to let the pie crust drape over the pin until it is balanced and you can move the entire piece
- slowly unroll the pie crust off the rolling pin over the pie pan
- press crust gently into the pan
- trim off excess pie crust with a knife
- crimp edges if desired
It’s done when the edges are brown and only the very center of the pie is a little giggly.
The long awaited moment is here.
Drum roll please…
Who will be our winner?
Homemade pumpkin puree or the canned stuff?
Well, we had dinner at a friend’s house last night so we had several folks join in the tasting event.
Before I tell you which pie won, I wanted to mention that the competition was so close in the Pumpkin Bread that we decided to continue it with Pumpkin Pie. I thought that perhaps, the reason the two pumpkin breads were so similar was due to the amount of other ingredients.
Following that line of thinking, since Pumpkin Pie has fewer “other” ingredients and lots of pumpkin I thought the homemade pumpkin would really have a chance to shine.
I am going to burst the bubble of every homesteader raising pie pumpkins everywhere with my next words…
There wasn’t a difference.
Exactly the same.
2 pies – one from homemade pumpkin puree, one from a can – Identical flavor.
Some folks chose the homemade, some chose the canned – but everyone had the same remarks: They were both delicious. They were both buttery, pumpkin-y and wonderful. They were so similar that it took several bites from each pie to even try to pick a favorite. 3 people couldn’t even pick a favorite because there was no difference.
I was really surprised. The pumpkin bread from the homemade puree was better; I thought the pie would be a land-slide in the favor of homemade puree. Nope.
I can say that homemade pumpkin puree is still fresher, healthier and more organic (and there’s no leeching ickiness from the can).
I know how my pumpkins were raised and processed. I feel better about eating the homemade variety – but as far as flavor goes –
It’s a tie.
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