Always liked seeing rows of pumpkins lined up outside farm stands and grocery stores and piled high in bins at the local farmers markets. Their bright hues are a last glimpse of summers fleeting colors before winter.
But all pumpkins aren’t orange. Surprise! Pumpkins come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. With names like New England Cheddar, Porcelain Doll, Cinderella, One-Too-Many, Crystal Star, Casperita, Blue Doll, Lumina, Pie. Flat White Boer Ford, Orangita and Knucklehead—some of best for cooking/baking and others for decorations or carving.
The sweet and creamy flesh of Porcelain Doll, Pie and New England Cheddar make a mighty fine pumpkin pie.
My favorite pumpkin pie recipe is adapted from a 1979 recipe out of Bon Appetit magazine.
Yield: It makes two 8” pies
You'll need two unbaked single pie crusts rolled to fit 8” pie pans. Use your favorite pie crust recipe.
Spicy Pumpkin Filling
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 1 pound (about 1 3/4 cups) cooked pumpkin
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange rind
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line each pie shell with foil and fill with uncooked beans or rice. Bake 10 minutes, or until golden. Remove from oven and gently lift out liners. Cool pie shells completely.
Blend the filling in a large bowl by whisking a little of the milk into the flour until lumps disappear. Then whisk in the rest of the milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt. Beat in the pumpkin, melted butter, orange rind and spices until smooth. A food processor makes quick work of this.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400ºF. Divide filling evenly between cooled shells. Set on cookie sheet and bake 15 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 350ºF and continue baking until knife inserted in about an inch for the crust comes out clean, about 45 minutes. (Don’t worry if the center is wobbly, it will finish cooking as it cools.) Remove from oven and cool completely on a rack. Chill until about 30 minutes before serving to bring to room temperature.
Garnish with toasted pecans and fresh whipped cream.