“Pumpkin” pie filling

Thanksgiving is often one of the big challenges for Americans outside the US. We suddenly find ourselves without Grandma’s recipes and expertise, and without any Libby’s pumpkin!

The saying “as American as apple pie” might be more accurate if it mentioned pumpkin pie. This holiday treat was included in the country’s first cookbook in 1796, American Cookery, by an American Orphan by Amelia Simmons. Pumpkins and other gourds were introduced to the settlers in New England by the Native Americans. Two hundred years later, no Thanksgiving dinner is complete without the quintessential pumpkin pie for dessert.

For making one pumpkin pie, buy at least 2 kilos of carrots. Peel them, then cut into 2-inch pieces and cook on high in the microwave (or boil, then drain) until soft. Using a blender or food processor, purée the carrots until smooth. There’s your “pumpkin” puree!

Here’s the show-stealer: “Pumpkin” pie filling, made from scratch.

2 cups “pumpkin” purée
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup evaporated milk or light cream (15 %)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pie crust, unbaked

In mixing bowl, combine “pumpkin” purée, sugar, and seasonings. Add eggs, mixing well. Add evaporated milk and vanilla. Stir well. Pour pumpkin pie mixture into pastry-lined pie pan.

Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes or longer, until pie is set. Place a large piece of foil over the pie if it starts getting too brown. Check doneness by inserting a knife into the center. If it comes out clean, you’re good to go!

Serve warm or cool with whipped cream.

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