Monday, September 29, 2008

Pumpkin Pies & More

Pumpkin pie has been associated with autumn menus since the 17th century. It's believed the the early settlers made the first pies by scooping out the seeds from the center of the pumpkin and then filling it with milk, seasonings, maple syrup or molasses. Then they baked the pumpkin until tender.

Poet John Greenleaf Whittier wrote about pumpkin pies. Mention of pumpkin pie, pudding, and other dishes is found in other writings and diaries.

Many Varieties of Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pies come in many varieties today. Some cooks like to use the fresh pumpkins, cutting them up, cooking and mashing them for a pie filling. Others use canned pumpkin. When I was a child, we generally used the pumpkins we grew in garden and field.

You also can mix pumpkin with other ingredients for pie variations.

  • This includes stirring a package of mincemeat into your pie recipe.
  • Or you can create a chiffon pumpkin pie by making a gelatin custard mixture and stirring cooked pumpkin into it. Then turn into baked pie shell and top with whipped cream or whipped topping.
  • Add vanilla ice cream to the pumpkin pie.

FROZEN PUMPKIN PIE is one variation.

Stir 1 pint vanilla ice cream to soften. Spread in a baked 9-inch pie shell. Freeze ice cream in shell until firm.

Mix together 1 cup canned or fresh cooked pumpkin, 3/4 cup sugar (1/2 cup if you don't want it so sweet), 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg. (Spice amounts may vary depending on individual taste.) Fold in 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows and 1 cup heavy cream, whipped (or use whipped topping).

Spoon onto ice cream layer. Sprinkle with chopped nuts, if desired. Freeze until firm.

When serving, take from freezer and let stand in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes. Top with more whipped topping, if desired.

(c)2008 Mary Emma Allen


Linette said...

I love pumpkin pie. It's why they made the Thanksgiving Holiday isn't it? To give thanks for pumpkin pie:P

Jean said...

Some great variations. Thank you Mary Emma.

The ice cream one really sounds delicious. All diets go out the window for Thanksgiving, right? ;-)