Monday, January 18, 2016

A Very Old Pumpkin Pie Recipe

This recipe comes from “The American Frugal Housewife” by Lydia Maria Child, and published in 1829, “The American Frugal Housewife” was an instant success, going into more than 30 editions before 1850.
*Makes two 10-inch pies
1 medium sugar pumpkin (about 3 pounds)
4 cups milk
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, more to taste
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, more to taste
1 tablespoon ground ginger, more to taste
Grated zest of 1 lemon, optional
3 eggs, whisked to mix
2 10-inch pie shells
2 10-inch pie pans
To cook pumpkin: slice skin from top and bottom of the pumpkin. In a curving motion, cut remaining skin in segments from the sides, working from top to bottom.
Cut flesh in half, scoop out and discard seeds and cut the flesh in chunks; they should weigh about 2 pounds. Put pumpkin in a saucepan with water to cover base of the pan. Add the lid and cook over medium heat, stirring often, so pumpkin steams until it can be crushed easily with a fork, 30-45 minutes. Crush it with a potato masher or puree in a food processor until smooth.
Chill the pie shells. Heat oven to 400 degrees and put a baking sheet low down on a shelf to heat. For filling, heat milk in a large saucepan. Stir in pumpkin puree and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, so the mixture thickens slightly, about 20 minutes. Let cool to tepid, then stir in sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and lemon if using. Taste and adjust sweetness and spice. Stir in eggs.
Transfer filling to pie shells. Set pies on the heated baking sheet and bake in the oven 15 minutes. Lower heat to 350 degrees and continue baking until pies are firm and knife comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes more. Serve at room temperature.

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