Cooks Corner: Pumpkin Pie

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I have no posts this week because it's fourth of July week and I'm having to cook for guests! But I do have recipes! So there's that! With pictures! Except that some of the pictures are quite dreadful because the pie was cooked in the evening when we had no light and the flash that comes with the camera body just makes things worse trust me! But maybe you'll enjoy the recipe anyway! BECAUSE IT TASTES GOOD.

I love pumpkin pie. I know half of you in internet land are reading this and thinking "Pumpkin pie? In the summer? For fourth of July?" and you are more than welcome to think that because it means more pumpkin pie for me. I'll be over here, eating the piece you didn't want and humming happily to myself because I love pumpkin pie that much. Love-love-love. And I especially love how ridiculously easy it is for me to make because this pie? Is a VERY disability-friendly pie for me.

Pumpkin Pie
2 deep dish 9" pie crusts
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 eggs
1 can (15 ounce) solid packed pumpkin
1 can (12 ounce) evaporated milk
Source: Central Market Cooking School

I'm not going to give you the step-by-step instructions that they sent home with me from the Pies and Rolls class at Central Market because my feeling is that any instructions for pumpkin pie are basically an unnecessary solution in desperate search for a non-existent problem. Allow me to demonstrate:

STEP 1: Put all your ingredients in a pile. MAKE SURE THEY SMILE FOR THE CAMERA.

STEP 2: Put all the ingredients in a bowl. JUST SLOSH THEM ALL IN THERE.

STEP 3: Stir the ingredients for a bit. AS MUCH AS YOU LIKE.

STEP 4: (Optional) Slap everything into a tupperware container and stick it in the fridge because you've run out of spoons for the day and you were planning to bake these tomorrow / later anyway. OR NOT. UP TO YOU.

STEP 5: Pour everything into a pie crust.

Okay, this one deserves more talking, I guess. Here is the thing: I know how to make pie crusts from scratch. I have kinda-sorta plans for a video even, someday. Maybe. But! I have a rule in the kitchen, and it is very simple: Will the pleasure I get from eating this be commensurate to the amount of effort spent making it? For me, when it comes to pie crusts, the answer is no. I enjoy store-bought crusts almost as much as the ones I make from scratch, and the effort to make them from scratch is VERY spoon-intensive for me. You may view that as a strike against my taste-buds or against my crust-making skills, if you want, but I call it EFFICIENCY.

This recipe makes a lot of pie filling. The Central Market people said "one pie", but it would be brimming full in that case, and I've even had to throw some filling away because of excess when filling only one pie. (SAD FACE.) I've had much better luck with spreading this recipe across two deep-dish 9" pre-formed pre-frozen Pillsbury crusts. You are welcome to experiment, though. Far be it from me to curtail creativity!

STEP 6: Bake the pies. Together is fine.

Preheat the over to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and slap the pies in for 15 minutes. Then bring the temperature down to 350 degrees and bake for another 45 minutes. If you are concerned about the pies being done in the center, you can slide a sharp knife in and see if it comes out mostly-clean or goopy; if it comes out goopy, then let it bake a little longer. Be aware that this knife-test will make your pie slightly less pretty, BUT WE CAN FIX IT.

I also recommend slapping a cookie sheet on the oven rung that is underneath the rung you have the pies on (assuming you have more than one rack in the oven). Because the pre-bought crusts do sometimes flake a bit and once they hit the bottom of the oven, they smoke and burn and smell bad. But they won't damage the pies.

STEP 7: (Optional) Decorate those pies. This is totally optional, but you can slap Cool Whip (or whatever) into a cake decorating bag with a tip and either swirl around the edges (in cases where you were putting the pie into the oven and some filling slooshed up a bit and now it looks a little burny there) or in the center to cover your knife-test cut. EITHER WAY.

STEP 8: Eat the pies. OMG NOM NOM NOM.

MmmmmmmmMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmm. Seriously.


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