November is the month we associate with Thanksgiving, and what better way to cap a big Thanksgiving Day feast than a pumpkin pie?
The pumpkin is a symbol of harvest time and it is often eaten during Thanksgiving and Christmas in the United States and Canada. But, it wasn’t always this way. Native Americans grew squash and pumpkins, but it is thought that the early American settlers were not very impressed with how the Native Americans just boiled or roasted pumpkins for eating. Yuck!
However, they learned to appreciate it a lot more during their first harsh winter when about half the settlers died from scurvy and exposure. The Native Americans brought pumpkins as gifts to the first settlers, and taught them its many uses. To make it taste better it is likely that they cut off the top of the pumpkin, and added milk (when available), honey and spices. They would then roast it over a fire and scoop out the pulp. You didn’t actually think that the first settlers actually had ovens back then, did you?
This is what evolved into pumpkin pie 50 years after that first Thanksgiving in America.
OK so now that the history lesson is finished…how do we make pumpkin pie???
Here is a list of the ingredients you will need:
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 1/4 cups evaporated milk or half and half
2 eggs, beaten
1 refrigerated pie crust
No pumpkin pie spice? No worries! Substitute a teaspoon of pumpkin spice with this – 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves. Voila! Problem solved!
Do you have everything you need? Ok…now we bake!
Baking a pumpkin is one of the easiest things to do. All we need to do is this:
Pre-heat oven to 220 degrees C (425 degrees F)
Combine eggs, pumpkin puree, sweetened condensed milk, and pumpkin pie spice (or its substitute) in a large bowl and mix until combined
Fit pie crust into a pie dish; pour pumpkin mixture into the crust.
Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 175 degrees C (350 degrees F); bake 40 to 50 minutes longer or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool 2 hours. Serve or refrigerate until serving time. Store in refrigerator.