My grandmother’s pumpkin pie was legendary.
Her crust was crisp and flaky. The filling was thick, creamy and heavenly spiced. Every Thanksgiving my entire family would gather at Nanny’s home for a delicious, traditional, holiday meal complete with all of the fixings and most importantly the PUMPKIN PIE! I’ve kept her recipe safely tucked away in my hand-written recipe notebook, for years, thinking I was protecting a family heirloom. It turns out her recipe can be found on the back of E.D.SMITH PURE PUMPKIN cans. Be sure to buy the pure pumpkin as opposed to the pre-mixed pie filling. It is so not the same!
I love Thanksgiving; an opportunity to celebrate the land’s bounty and pay homage to everything I cherish. We celebrate Thanksgiving in mid-October in Canada due to our earlier harvest time. Mom’s cooking this year’s dinner, but the weather today made me start thinking about a harvest celebration. We have a glorious outdoors Sunday market in Queen’s Square here in Saint John. It’s three blocks from our house, so Ralph, Fynnigan and I strolled down to do a little shopping and photo snapping. Organic vegetables, free-range eggs, hand-made breads, flower posies, artisan products and hot food vendors were out in all their splendor. I knew that I would be working on a pumpkin pie post before I left the house. As we walked through the market I was over whelmed with the glory I felt around me: friends that we haven’t seen since the Spring, a brilliant autumn sun warming up the cool breeze off the bay, food vendors stalked to the rafters, happy people and children playing. It made me feel grateful to be home and for my life. I decided my pie would be more appropriately named ‘grateful pie’.
GRATEFUL PIE AKA PUMPKIN PIE
Makes enough pastry for 3 – 9” pies
Preheat oven 425*F
5 cups all – purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 lb TENDERFLAKE LARD, room temperature
1 tablespoon white vinegar
- Place flour, baking powder, brown sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir well.
- Cut lard into the flour with a pastry blender until it resembles a coarse meal.
- Beat egg in the bottom of a one-cup measure.
- Add vinegar then fill cup with ice water.
- Pour mixture over flour and combine with a fork until it forms a mass. At this point, I put on a pair of disposable rubber gloves and finish working the lard into the flour.
- Place pastry on a floured surface and knead several times.
- Flour surface again and roll out one piece of dough to ¼“ thickness.
- Add more flour if the pastry is sticking.
- Make sure that you are applying even pressure on your rolling-pin so that your pastry is able to bake evenly!
- With a dry pastry brush, sweep off excess flour from the top of the pie dough.
- Starting at one end of pastry, roll up pastry on the rolling-pin.
- Place rolling-pin on pie plate and unroll on top of pie plate.
- Gently push pastry into pie plate.
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 can E.D.SMITH® Pure Pumpkin
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup evaporated milK
- 1 9-inch unbaked pie shell
- Beat eggs lightly in medium bow.
- Add the pumpkin, sugar, spices and evaporated milk.
- Blend everything together well.
- Pour filling into pie shell.
- Bake at 425ºF for 15 minutes.
- Reduce oven temperature to 375ºF and continue baking 35 to 45 minutes longer or until knife inserted in centre comes out clean.
- Serve at room temperature or chilled with whipped cream.
THE LOVE: Use a clear glass pie plate so you can see the bottom of the pie crust to be sure your crust is golden brown and cooked through. You can see in my photos that I used a pottery pie plate. I’ve cooked this pie so many times, I have the timing down pat. Also, any extra pastry can be well wrapped and frozen up to three months.
If there’s a farmer’s market near where you live, take advantage of the opportunity to support your local grower’s. Soon the snow will fly and we’ll all be forced to eat fruit and vegetables very different from the beauties harvested in your part of the world.
Thanks for reading.