Jeremy Truitt of Columbia is married with two sons in Columbia. He is pursuing a degree in broadcast journalism at the University of Missouri and loves to write blog posts in his free time. This article originally appeared on his blog on October 1.
We took the boys to a farm a couple of days ago. Aside from the various vegetables we got to feed our never-ending appetite for all things vegetarian, the boys got a few pumpkins. Instead of making Jack-O-Lanterns or just roasting the seeds, I thought to myself, "you should let the boys help make a REAL pumpkin pie!”
So here it is! We got smaller pumpkins, which turned out to be great because according to everything online I found, the smaller ones are sweeter and make good pumpkin pie.
It’s simple, really. We cut two of them in half, removed the seeds and of course the guts (this is the fun part for the boys of course), and soaked the seeds in salt water.
Next, we just had to steam the actual pumpkin. This took awhile, even more than I assumed. We steamed them for about 40 minutes to make the “meat” inside really tender and easily “scoopable.”
This was the less-fun part for the kiddos, but they still did great. During this time I had them wash the seeds, clean and soak them in salt water.
After that we strained them and put them on a cookie sheet to be baked. Of course the 7-year-old Ashton said we “didn’t have enough salt” on them so I was made to sprinkle more just to be sure. Mmm hmmm. If I had my choice, I’d say the seeds were almost better than the actual pumpkin pie turned out. They were freaking delicious.
I figured the seeds would last awhile, but did they? NO. We had multiple neighborhood kids over periodically through the weekend and as per usual, they wanted snacks. The seeds are good enough that I will probably buy another pumpkin just to make more of these. Of course I will enlist my boys and the neighborhood kids. Does anybody else hear a business opportunity?
Then came the easy stuff. We scooped out 3 cups of “pumpkin glop” and used an electric beater to mix it up. It smelled like death at this point. I questioned my reasoning for making this because it reminded me of stinky trash and I was nervous how the pie would turn out.
Next, we mixed in the allspice, ginger, evaporated milk, cinnamon, sugar and vanilla extract. I immediately realized I had a huge problem. It was watery. I don’t mean a little moist…I mean it was like pumpkin flavored water. Uh-oh spaghetti O (I said that, not the kids).
Actually, this watery mixture is normal. I did some feverish Google searching to make sure I wasn’t about to just boil pumpkin water, but it actually ended well! Apparently it firms up well and makes for a beautiful pie. On a side note, I could go for some boiling pumpkin water… I mean how do they make pumpkin beer?
So the end result………
Turned out perfect!
Needless to say, it didn’t last but the day. However, what I found exciting about the whole experience was the fun the boys and I had. To confess, I did most of the work due to the obvious lack of attention span of normal 4 and 7-year-old children.
It is actually pretty interesting that we can go from a small seed on July 14th (that’s when the farmer planted them), to a pumpkin just a few months later, to more seeds and a pumpkin pie. Craziness but fun!
Here’s the link to the physical recipe I found. It’s MUCH more in-depth than I am here.
Also, the pumpkins were obtained at the Heavenly Harvest Pumpkin Patch in Auxvasse, Missouri!
Good luck on the pie baking this season!
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