So, as it turns out, I'm a stress baker. This recipe is so that you can make two pies at once for trial and error. It also includes a short lesson(ish) on self-love, or however you translate it.
To make the pie crust, you'll need
1/3 c. of flour
1/2 tsp. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3 1/2 c. cold water
It's a pretty generic recipe, but I like to listen to lo-fi when I make the crust. I don't think I can describe the process of kneading dough without leaving something out, so I'll leave that up to you. (I'm a terrible person.)
I bring my laptop out to my counter so that I can work on homework while I'm busy. It's time-consuming. After kneading the dough, I usually let it sit in my fridge while I make the spiced puree filling thing.
For the spiced puree, you'll need to think about the season, is it cold outside? Is it warm (and disgustingly humid like where I am)? Are you baking because you're the only one home? Are you a stress baker too? (If so, I somenly welcome you.)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and knock it down to 425 when you put the first pie in. You should use a 9" pie dish for both pies, and do one at a time so that for the second, you can adjust baking time to what you like.
7 c. pumpkin puree/mashed pumpkin, now baking and pureeing a pumpkin is hard work without a food processor. You'll have to have already made the puree beforehand. If you want to use canned puree, that's fine, but it takes a lot away from the goodness of homemade and you'll have to do a lot to get rid of that canned sort of flavor.
3 c. evaporated milk or carnation milk, if you used canned, add 1/2 a tsp. of clove extract and 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract to taste so that the fragrance wins over the canned taste.
4 large eggs, beat them before adding them to the puree
1/4 c. granulated white sugar Adjust sweetness however you like, make sure you constantly taste the filling to check if it's to your liking.
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 tbsp. ginger paste
2 tbsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 tbsp. clove
2 tbsp allspice
3 tbsp cinnamon
Or you can do in measure to the filling with a pumpkin pie spice mix, or add it. Spices should be to the baker's taste, so make sure you know the flavors and textures of each spice before you add them. Make sure you stir/whisk it all in well.
You're probably gonna start this at noon because it takes forever and you just want to avoid talking to anyone else. After 20 minutes, knock the oven down to 375 degrees for another 35 minutes. Take it out then and let it sit on the stovetop for 15 minutes before putting it in the fridge to rest for 2-3 hours. It's important that you let it refrigerate, why? I don't actually know.
I can't tell you the calorie count, I never actually calculated it, but let's say one slice yields an unhealthy 150-200 calories, but you do deserve a treat once in a while, and one pie is about 8 slices, so just one is fine. Sometimes I feel insecure after indulging in treats, and I run around like crazy thinking I wasted time and health, and sometimes my mental health suffers from my own self-deprecation. I do more homework and cry, I don't eat dinner, or I'll go and ride my bike obsessively until the streetlights are on and the sun is set. It's hard reminding myself that a slice of pie is okay, it's hard not to be so self-conscience. It's kind of annoying, sometimes I cry, sometimes I don't.
.....You ever just, like, lean back on your counter with your arms crossed over your abdomen staring at your socks and wonder how different the day would be if you owned fuzzy blue striped socks?
I could press my own apple juice, but I haven't done that since I was a kid, and quite frankly, I hated the process, so some green tea with honey and lemon or ginger lemon tea is just fine. It easies my nerves, calms the atmosphere, and distracts me from the ache in my legs and the chill on my neck. I sit in the kitchen during the baking period and study for my science test tomorrow, I write poems I'd been neglecting for weeks, I write a book or movie analysis, or I rewatch the same Dead Poets Society analysis over and over and try not to cry.
Sometimes, the kitchen feels like a forever place with the scent of holiday spices but the air is so cold, no matter how hot it may be outside, or how high the thermostat is. My cat comes in once or twice to either vie for attention or scratch me, Her Royal Furriness has an attitude which she refuses to allow to remain predictable. I don't know if I actually like the process, I just walk through it. Sometimes I hate how I like the silence when my phone is dead, sometimes, I hate how I like the end product.
Enjoy your pie with some warm milk, I recommend boiling it in a saucepan with some clove, almond, vanilla, and cinnamon, use almond milk, though, and strain it afterward. I let the milk simmer on low for 20-40 minutes while stirring and skimming the top.
Have fun with making it, turn on some music and dance in the kitchen, slide around your home in your imaginary fuzzy blue striped socks, go outside and water some plants, I dunno. Enjoy your slice of pie, because it's pumpkin and as much as I hate to admit it, spiced pies are warm and make it feel like the outside world doesn't exist, be happy with the end product. Unless you made a second pie and adjusted it from the first, I hope you enjoy that one too.
This feels like one of those backstories to a recipe you try to skip over but it takes forever to actually reach the recipe, and then the ads start popping up.
And I am the freaking pumpkin king once again. Looked at the word cout and laughed at how it took me less time to write this than it did my competition pieces.