Pumpkin Pie “Pioneer Style”
I have not always loved pumpkin desserts of any kind. Scott, my husband has always adored pumpkin anything, therefore I learned to prepare it in ways that I would like it. I have shared my Pumpkin Butter Recipe with Bonnie Plants and it is my favorite pumpkin butter recipe of all time. I feel that it has just enough spice, but not overpowering. I think that has always been my problem – the spice, not the pumpkin itself.
I have always had pumpkin out of the can until I started growing my own. Pumpkin actually has a fantastic flavor on its own with very little need to enhance the flavor. This experiment with pumpkin pie “pioneer style” was quite exceptional.
It was one of those nights that will go down in my memory bank as a nostalgic moment. Everything seemed to be so perfect.
When the settlers came to their new nation they obviously were living off the land. They had to learn from the Indians and enjoy the foods that they natives enjoyed. The had no electricity and cooked quite differently than we do in this modern age. I thought that it would be great fun to cook pumpkins straight on the smoldering coals of a once nice fire just as the settlers did.
HOW TO MAKE PUMPKIN PIE “PIONEER STYLE”
You will need to start your fire about an hour before you want to start cooking the pumpkins so that you will be placing them on hot coals as opposed to a blazing fire.
To prepare the pumpkin, the kids and I removed the tops of 4 medium-sized pumpkin and scraped the seeds and stringy insides out of the pumpkin’s cavity.In a small bowl, I mixed 4 cups of heavy cream, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground ginger, 1 cup of sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. I poured one cup of the mixture into each pumpkin and took them outside and put them on the hot coals.
The pumpkins were not done all at the same time. Some of my coals happened to be hotter in spots and my pumpkins varied in size. On average, it took about an hour for the pumpkins to bake to completion. I carefully removed the pumpkins from the fire and placed them in a small cast iron skillet. Be very careful here not to puncture the skin because the mixture will begin to leak from punctured areas.
Mix the tender pumpkin with the cream mixture. You can eat this straight from the pumpkin or remove it to a large bowl and puree it even further for a smoother texture and use it for a base for pie filling.
I served our “pumpkin pie” straight from pudding bowls. My family loved it.
Please note that when it is not puréed, it has a texture that resembles a soft spaghetti squash. My family are used to eating my “experiments,” but if you are used to eating the canned pumpkin or the puréed pumpkin, this may not be your favorite.
Simply mix 2 cups of the pumpkin purée in a large bowl with 2 eggs, 1 yolk from a third egg, , and ½ teaspoon lemon zest. Place the mixture into an unbaked pie shell, then bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes.
All in all, this night was one to be remembered and I will “bake” my pumpkins from now on right over hot coals. The time is well spent with family as we talked, ate our outdoor dinner, and waited for our pumpkin desserts. I hope this gives you an idea for your family and that you enjoy them and the outdoors as much as I did that wonderful simple night.