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17 November 2009

How Pumpkin Pies are Made. . . Two weeks in a row, [More:]Garrison Keillor as gone on and on about the mediocrity of pumpkin pie, and how the best piece of pumpkin pie you ever had was not much better than the worst. I happen to agree.

This from a coworker. . .
I'm not really all that into pumpkin pie. I usually have one piece at Thanksgiving and one at Christmas and that's it. (And it must be smothered in Cool Whip or the aerosol whipped cream.)
posted by sperose 17 November | 11:17
George's son, John, makes the most amazing pumpkin pie, unlike anything else I've ever tasted. Smooth, sweet, cinnamonny. Absolutely gorgeous.

I'm also a fan of Starbucks pumpkin cheesecake, which they don't sell over here :-(
posted by essexjan 17 November | 11:22
I used to love a pumpkin pie. Until now, that is.
posted by Obscure Reference 17 November | 11:37
I like it a lot, and there certainly is a difference between sullen, shrunken mass of orangey brown sludge squatting in a soggy cardboard-pastry hovel, and a proper piece of pumpkin pie, Garrison Keillor notwithstanding.

Mr. Keillor, by the way, can also be found extoling the virtues of gloopy, soupy hotdish with ketchup on it, so while he's very entertaining (in controlled doses), he isn't really my standard reference point for matters culinary.
posted by Wolfdog 17 November | 11:56
I'm not overly fond of the stuff myself; it's a texture thing. I have a recipe for a crust-less pumpkin pie that's really good.

Crust-less Pumpkin Pie
16 oz canned pumpkin
12 oz evaporated milk
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Bisquick
2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
OR 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons vanilla

Heat oven to 350F.
Grease 10 x 1 1/2" pie plate.
Place the pumpkin, evaporated milk, butter, eggs, sugar, Bisquick, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla in a mixing bowl.
Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes or until the Bisquick mixture is smooth.
Pour into pie plate.
If desired, sprinkle additional nutmeg on top of pie.
Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

I always add more spice, but that's up to the cook/pie consumer.
posted by deborah 17 November | 13:00
I'm responsible for all the pies this year, including a pumpkin pie, which I don't much like and which I've never made. (When I was working in my sister's posh bakery, I made literally thousands of pumpkin pies, a dozen or two at a time, but that doesn't count, somehow.)

I'm using the pumpkin pie recipe from this Cooks' Illustrated cookbook. It uses milk and cream, not evaporated milk. I'm a little skittish about it, but I'm giving it a try.
posted by Elsa 17 November | 13:18
he isn't really my standard reference point for matters culinary.

Yep. Confirmation bias on my part. But I'm running with it.
posted by danf 17 November | 14:04
As much as I like and admire Keillor in general and his radio show in particular, the most charitable take I have on this is that it must be the part of his brain that he lost to stroke. If it's good, I can finish a whole pie in one day solo; if not, and I'm thinking of the deadly not enough sweetener/too much pumpkin spice combo, then the only reason I'd get past the first forkful is that I dearly love and/or feel sorry for the cook, and even then I'd try to find a way to pitch the rest of the piece or sneak it to the dog. If I didn't like the dog.
posted by Halloween Jack 17 November | 14:20
I loooove pumpkin pie! Made one last year just using the recipe on the label, and damn, it was good.

he isn't really my standard reference point for matters culinary

He has been really helpful in developing the cult of sweet corn.
posted by Miko 17 November | 15:12
A few years ago my sister forgot to put any sugar whatsoever in the pumpkin pie. Everyone - and that was a lot of people - stoically masticated their way through a grim slice of the stuff, smiling dutifully, if a bit strainedly (Mm! Really tastes like... pumpkin! And nothing else!) while she was dashing to and fro with after-dinner tidying and so on.

Later that evening when everyone except me had left, she sat down and had a piece for herself. First bite - the expression was priceless. I leave it to your imagination.

Two years before that, she nearly broke her pie server on the crust when trying to cut the first piece.

posted by Wolfdog 17 November | 15:36
For a few years during and after my son's infancy I could not eat (or look at) pumpkin pies because of their unfortunate and uncanny resemblance to what I was finding inside diapers.

But he's 11 now and the little indie bakery down the street makes a kick-ass pump-pie, so I'm all for that.

Mincemeat pie, however, remains an abomination to me.
posted by jamaro 17 November | 16:04
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