Pumpkin Pie: I’m a bit screwed

Thanksgiving is coming, and so here in Switzerland I felt like making a pumpkin pie today.  Yes, it’s not actually Thanksgiving, but I could either celebrate it before or after, so I’m doing both.  Here’s the thing about pumpkin pie: because it really is an American dish, some of the ingredients are really American.  My favorite recipe is Libby’s, but my wife and daughter both were not thrilled. But it also has two other problems, one of which is difficult to avoid.  Libby’s calls for condensed milk and canned pumpkin.  There is absolutely nothing to be done about the canned pumpkin part.  Anyone who knows anything knows that you just get a can of pumpkin for pumpkin pie, because quite frankly, we all have better things to do than to chop, bake, skin and mash a pumpkin, and probably the wrong pumpkin at that.  The catch is that here in Switzerland, apparently they don’t, or they simply don’t eat pumpkin.

So that leaves the condensed milk.  Some recipes call for it, and some call for cream cheese. This year I tried a recipe from the Joy of Baking, which merely calls for cream.  It makes a very light pie, but the spice doesn’t bowl you over.  Quite frankly I found it a bit meek.  But this is precisely what, I think my wife and daughter liked.  Also, this pie isn’t too sweet, which is something I like.  This is a Martha Stewart recipe.  Are they all so middle-of-the-road?

Anyway, Happy (early) Thanksgiving, America!

2 thoughts on “Pumpkin Pie: I’m a bit screwed”

  1. Oh for heaven’s sake, canned? That’s just yucky! Get a butternut squash, cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and roast it for 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven (until the skin pulls away easily) and spend the five minutes it takes to peel it. It’s really easy, and it’s so much yummier. This will work with any sweet winter squash–you don’t have to use a pumpkin. If you do use a pumpkin, don’t roast it whole–cut it before you roast it, so that it fits in the pan. A pumpkin probably won’t have to roast as long, because it’s thinner.

    You can use powdered milk–mix it in with regular milk. Use about a quarter of the sugar the Libby’s recipe calls for–the squash (or pumpkin) is nearly sweet enough on its own. It’s no accident that the pilgrims were able to live on these.

  2. Oh, whatever squash you do use, coat it in vegetable oil or butter before roasting. I don’t know what happens if you don’t, but it’s probably dire. Also, be very careful when you take it out of the oven–it will produce a lot of juice as it cooks, and the juice comes out of the oven at the boiling point, so if you spill it on yourself, it will burn immediately.

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