WARNING: If you are afraid of calories or don't like butter, leave now. Just stop reading and go eat some celery or something.
Alright, for you brave ones who kept reading I would like to share with you the first thing I created with the fresh pumpkin puree I made this morning. But first, I'll show you how I made that puree.
Start with pumpkin, peel removed and chopped into fairly evenly sized cubes. I didn't use a pie pumpkin, so I had to chop it all up first, but a smaller pumpkin you could just cut in half and roast with the skin on, similar to how you roast a butternut squash:
Spread the cubes of pumpkin onto a greased baking sheet:
Put it in the oven at 350 degrees add let it cook anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour. Just make sure the pumpkin is nice and tender. Once it's done, it should be a beautiful orange/yellow color, and it should no longer resemble cantaloupe like it does in the above picture.
Let that cool for just a little while, and then in batches, dump into a food processor and blend it until it's smooth. Voila, pumpkin puree.
My pumpkin yielded about 5 cups of puree. Yes, that's a lot of pumpkin and no, I don't know what I'm going to do with all of it!
But what I came up with today was good for starters. I'm calling it my Pumpkin Pecan Pie Hybrid. I decided to mix a pumpkin pie with a pecan pie and see what happened. I was extremely excited to make up my own recipe instead of stealing somebody else's.
I didn't want to make a regular old pie crust either, so I tried to think of something fall-y, that went well with pumpkin and could be made into pie crust. Gingersnaps. It was (hopefully) perfect. Gingersnap crumb crust. Yum.
So I started by melting 3 1/2 Tbsp of butter and mixing it with about 2 cups of gingersnaps and about 1/4 cup white sugar. I'm saying about before all these measurements, because, truth be told, I didn't measure hardly anything in this recipe, so I'm guessing the amounts and hoping they are accurate.
So, anyway, mix up the butter, sugar and crumbs and press the mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9-in deep-dish pie plate. It's very important you use a deep-dish pie plate, otherwise you might end up with a mess oven to clean. Bake the crust at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. While that's baking whip up the filling.
I combined my two fillings in two separate bowls before combining them. I have no idea whether that made any difference in the end or not. We'll say it did.
So in the first bowl I mixed 1 cup light karo syrup, 3 eggs, some vanilla and 2 Tbsp of melted butter. There's the pecan pie half. (Yes, I know there aren't any pecans in play yet, I'll get to that, be patient!)
In the second bowl I combined about 1 1/4 cups of my fresh pumpkin puree, 1 egg, about 2 Tbsp. each brown and white sugar, three dashes of pumpkin pie spice (about 2 tsp), and about 1/4 cup milk.
Then I dumped the two mixtures in together and whisked the crap out of it. Pour the filling into the warm gingersnap crust, reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees and bake it for 45 minutes.
Now for those pecans. I used pecan halves this time, but chopped pecans would work just as well. I decided to try to praline the pecans to give them a nice caramel-y sugar coating, so I melted 4 tbsp of butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar in a skillet over medium-high heat. After it melted completely and I mix the sugar and butter together I tossed in 1 cup of pecans. Then I stirred it until the sugar mixture started to look all bubbly and angry, then I poured it all out onto a couple sheets of tinfoil. Just let it sit for a while till it cools down.
After the pie has baked for 45 minutes, take it out of the oven and dump the pecans all over the top (be sure to get all that extra sugar-butter on there!). Then, put it back in the oven and bake it for 15-25 minutes longer.
Let the pie cool on a baking rack for about 20 minutes, and then carefully eat 3 pieces. Go slow though, so your teeth don't immediately fall out... (I'm just kidding, DH and I could only manage one piece each, this stuff is just plain sinful.)
Let me tell you, fresh pumpkin puree really makes a big flavor difference. I can't wait to try a plain pumpkin pie with this stuff. It's hard to describe but even DH noticed the change. He said he probably would never want a pumpkin pie from canned pumpkin ever again. That could be a bad thing....I guess there is going to be a lot of pumpkin puree making in my future.
Pumpkin Pecan Pie
2 cups crushed gingersnaps
3 1/2 Tbsp. melted butter
2 Tbsp. sugar
Mix together well and press mixture onto the bottoms and up the sides of a 9-in deep-dish pie plate. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
1 1/4 cups fresh pumpkin puree
2 Tbsp. white sugar
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2-3 Tbsp. milk
1 cup light Karo syrup
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp. melted butter
Mix together the two different fillings and pour into the warm pie crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
4 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup pecans (halved or chopped)
Melt butter and sugar in a skillet over medium high heat. Add in pecans and stir until mixture starts to bubble. Pour onto a sheet of foil and let cool.
After pie has baked 45 minutes, pour pecans and praline mixture over top and return to oven. Bake for 15-25 minutes longer. Cool on a baking rack for at least 20 minutes. Store in refrigerator.