Monday, November 12, 2007

My first Thanksgiving

This time of year brings back fond memories of my first Thanksgiving, exactly 20 years ago. I was an exchange student to the US and I had no idea it was such a big holiday there. I remember my house was filled with guests. Relatives arrived bringing great traditional food I had never dreamed of. I always enjoyed trying new food, and this time around it wasn't any different. I saw a pumpkin pie on the table and that really intrigued me, I had no idea whether it was a pie to eat during, before or after dinner and that kept me busy watching what people were doing to then realize it was a dessert! And that's how I tasted my first pumpkin pie! Of course, I loved it!

Kelli is hosting a Thanksgiving event called "Giving thanks" with prizes! She'll be sharing decorating ideas, crafts, poems, prayers, games, table settings, activities for children and a daily cleaning schedule (with before and after pictures). If you would like to join, please go here for all the details, including pictures of the giveaway prizes!

Here's a pumpkin pie recipe... I am using the pictures of last year's pie for a recipe I've had for years that uses fresh pumpkin and sweetened condensed milk.

Pumpkin Pie
1 recipe pâte brisée (recipe below - or 1 (9-inch) unbaked pie crust)
2 cups pumpkin puree (recipe below - or 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin)
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon Cloves

1) Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). In a large bowl, whisk pumpkin puree, condensed milk, eggs, spices and salt in medium bowl until smooth. Pour into crust.

2) Bake 15 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (175°C) and continue baking 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from crust comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Garnish as desired. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.

How to cook a pumpkin and make a puree - microwave method:
1) Cut off top of a 2 pound pumpkin (around the stem area) and scoop out stringy contents and seeds. Discard seeds or save to dry and roast and make a delicious snack.

2) Rub skin with oil or butter, wrap with parchment paper.

3) Place wrapped pumpkin on microwave-safe tray and cook on high for 20 minutes or until fork tender.

4) Once pumpkin has cooled, remove flesh using a spoon, discard the skin. Puree pumpkin in food processor or use a potato masher.

Pâte Brisée (Pie dough):
The classic proportion for this recipe is 3:1 (flour:fat)
Makes one 9 inch pie

1 cup flour
1/3 cup butter or shortening cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 to 4 teaspoons cold water (add ice to the water)

1) In a food processor, place the flour, salt and sugar and process briefly to combine.

2) Add the butter and process until mixture resembles coarse meal. Pour ice water with machine running, in a slow, steady stream just until dough holds together no longer than 30 seconds. Do not over process.

3) Form dough into a disk and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour, or until ready to use.

4) Roll pate brisee between 2 pieces of plastic wrap, into a 12-inch circle and fit pastry into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim dough evenly along edge, leaving about a 1/2-inch overhang. Pinch to form a decorative edge. Fill pie shell with pumpkin puree. Makes one 9-inch pie.

Topping suggestions:

You can serve your pie with the following toppings:
1) Grated coconut
2) Chocolate fudge
3) Whipped cream
4) Or just plain!

Recipe adapted from Eagle Brand.


Nunnie's Attic said...

I have never heard of using sweetened condensed milk in a pumpkin pie instead of evaporated milk. I can only imagine how much sweeter it is. Sounds good!

p.s. - anytime you're back in the states, you can eat with us!

Kelly Mahoney said...

Sounds delicious! I'm going to my parents house for the holiday. I really can't make anything that will turn out better than my mom's home cooking.

Abby said...

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and I think ANYbody can have Thanksgiving - we all have something to be thankful for!

I love the idea of sprinkling shredded, toasted coconut over pumpkin-pie slices. So pretty! (And we eat cool whip on ours!)

SteamyKitchen said...

Coconut on top...great idea!!!

Kelli said...

Thank you so much for the delicious recipe, Cris! I want to try it right now! :) Thank you for joining in the Thanksgiving fun!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

What a great story about your first Thanksgiving, Cris! I loved being an exchange student and learning about the various holidays and celebrations of my host country, Norway. Such great memories and a once in a lifetime experience! Your pie looks beautiful!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Cris, isn't it wonderful when food brings all these memories back?
Your pie looks amazing!

Janne said...

That's interesting. I never considered how an American Thanksgiving would look from the perspective of someone from another culture.

Thanks for sharing.