Real Pumpkin Pie

The pumpkins are hitting the markets this time of year, and everyone is asking me for my recipe for pumpkin pie!  I am posting this recipe, along with two additional recipes prior to October 24, in honor of Real Food Day 2012.  I am hosting two events during Food Day week, one on the 24th (a set of nutrition/food lessons for middle school students at the Community School of Sun Valley), and another event that YOU can sign up for!  I hope to see you at the Wood River YMCA at 9am on October 23rd for a free community class, “Celebrating Real Food”. To sign up and reserve your spot, please follow this special link on the Food Day CSPI site to our specific event.

Here is my pumpkin pie recipe—and the only secret is that you HAVE TO use REAL pumpkin!

Steps 1:  Cook the pumpkin.  I just wash one, cut it up and put it in the slow cooker with a few inches of water on LOW overnight.  You can get fancy with all kinds of cool pumpkin types.  This pumpkin is a “cheese” pumpkin that we purchased from Idaho’s Bounty.

Step 2:  Make the pie crust.  I usually take 2-3 bags of gingersnap cookies (we like Pamela’s gluten free cookies for a gluten free pie) and put them in the Cuisinart with a stick of butter (melt it first).  Then press into several pie pans—3 large or 4 regular—and give it a little bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Step 3:  Make the filling.  After you’ve turned off the slow cooker and the pumpkin has cooled, scoop out the yummy flesh and strain out the extra water.  You’re looking for about 4-6 cups worth of pumpkin flesh, depending on how deep you like the pumpkin flavor.  Then add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and beat it up:

-2 packages (8 oz) of cream cheese, softened
-1 cup granulated sugar
-1 cup brown sugar
-6 eggs
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 pint half and half
-1 stick of melted butter
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Step 4: Blend the filling mixture with a hand blender (see below for recommended brands). I have found that this gives the pie filling the best texture.

Step 5:  Add the filling to the pie crusts.

Step 6:  Bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees.

You’ve just made pumpkin pies for an army.  Go and drop off a few at your neighbor’s house and share!  Enjoy!

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