Homemade Pumpkin Pie + Seeds Recipe (Part 1 of 2, the Puree and the Seeds)

Link HERE for my post on the Never Fail Pie Crust Recipe that, surprise surprise, never fails.

(And so we [my family] use it always :D)

But you’re here for the actual PIE, right? RIGHT! Well that’s not happening until Part 2 (because I need the pie for the weekend, and this is still Monday!) but there will be a link to the recipe in half a moment, so chill.

I’m going to say right now that this isn’t my recipe any more than the pie crust recipe is mine–it just so happens that this is my favourite recipe, and it’s fun sharing good things. This is pretty easy considering it’s a from-scratch recipe (which translates to using an actual pumpkin, stand by for directions on THAT), which is why I’m sharing :)

Link HERE for the Suzannes Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie Recipe. Follow that link for the less story-filled recipe, and/or read on here for what I find to be useful, along with pictures and MY recipe for pumpkin seeds–

Yeah, I lay claim on the easiest part of this recipe. But they will be THE BEST PUMPKIN SEEDS YOU WILL EVER EAT.

YEAH. And now that you’ve been sufficiently pumped up, enjoy the recipe!

I’ll re-list the ingredients once I get to the pie portion of the post, but for now make sure you have 2 sugar pumpkins (/pie pumpkins… they’re the smaller pumpkins, pretty much. Ask your local grocer to direct you if you’re unsure), and preheat your oven to 350F.

Wash the outside of your pumpkin–weird, yes, but this will mean that if there’s anything gross on the outside (dirt, leaves, slugs, etc…) you won’t accidentally contaminate the insides of your pumpkin with that grossness when you cut it open.

Carefully cut your pumpkins in half horizontally (You should have one piece that has the top notch-thing and the bottom, or just look at my pics) and once you’ve scooped the insides from them place them face-down on a tin-foil ( or other) covered baking tray. Don’t add oil or anything, the juices from the pumpkin will do just fine.

Here we see the pumpkins cut and on the baking sheet. Two bowls at the top have pumpkin guts (right) and pumpkin seeds (left).

Here we see the pumpkins cut and on the baking sheet. Two bowls at the top have pumpkin guts (right) and pumpkin seeds (left).

Place pumpkin in 350F oven for 60-90 minutes. (It only took mine an hour to cook–you should be able to poke a fork into it easily.)

While you wait for your pumpkin to cook, go back to those pumpkin seeds from before.

While they’re in that bowl, you’ll notice they’re kind of gross and pumpkin-gutsy, so fill the bowl with lukewarm water. Not to the top, mind, but enough to cover the seeds.

If you were planning on keeping your hands clean, I suggest finding a different technique, but I find putting my hand in the bowl and squeezing and mixing the pumpkin seeds around/together works well to dislodge and pumpkin guts, and it’s pretty easy to pull the larger bits from the bowl.

Strain to remove the water and, because those seeds are probably still a little yuck, pull out a clean towel and pour out seeds onto it. (I know it sounds weird, but bear with me here) If you have a large batch of seeds feel free to do it in sections.

seeds towel

Pumpkin WILL come out of towel.

Fold towel over onto seeds, and rub seeds between, watching the edges to make sure they don’t slip out. This will dry off your seeds and the towel will pull off any stray bits of pumpkin that stuck to your seeds.

Thing is, they should be clean. The Towel thing is just a good way to make sure you don't have little bits of pumpkin guts baked onto your seeds.

Thing is, they should be clean. The Towel thing is just a good way to make sure you don’t have little bits of pumpkin guts baked onto your seeds.

Put them back into the bowl, and pull out canola oil and worcester sauce.

You can do this with oil and salt, or butter and salt, or really any sort of spice/dried herb (cumin, oregano, etc…), but if you have worcester sauce, I strongly suggest you use it. It’s easier to evenly coat the seeds, and you won’t have any seeds that are saltier than the others.

Again, depending on how many seeds you have, you should need about a teaspoon each of the oil and the worcester sauce–you can eyeball it like I usually do, but it doesn’t need all that much. Mix well to coat all the seeds, and set aside.

(I don’t suggest you spread them out on a pan yet, as they can dry out and you should still have some time before you can use the oven.)

DING!

baked pumpkin

The skin will look a little plastic-y after it’s cooked–delicious.

Once the pumpkin is done, remove it from the oven and change the heat from 350F to 300F, and pull out another tray. Cover it with tinfoil (or whatever else you’d like to use to keep it from sticking) and spread out your pumpkin seeds over the surface.

Place in oven once it reaches 300F, and bake for 30-45 minutes, giving a quick stir every 15 minutes. When they are done, they should be a golden colour. If you’re unsure, you can pop one in your mouth to check, and decide for yourself if you need the extra few minutes after the 30min mark. Pumpkin seeds are flexible like that :)

You can get them darker than this, I just like them this way. Cook to your tastes.

You can get them darker than this, I just like them this way. Cook to your tastes.

Back to pumpkin

You can either leave it out for longer to cool, or do like I did and handle the pumpkin delicately. Don’t burn yourself.

Scooping out the insides is pretty easy, and pretty self-explanatory. I used a food processor to turn the insides into a puree, doing one pumpkin-half at a time to make sure everything got mixed. Because I’m not going to be cooking the pie until closer to the weekend (Hello from Monday!) I’m putting all of the pumpkin puree into a large freezer bag to ziploc for later.

Cut into strips, the leftover pumpkin skin is a nice treat for your dog if you have one!

11

The Result

The Result

It’s fairly quick and very easy, and you can just put the bag of pumpkin in the fridge until you need it–if it’s not going to be for a long while, measure out the amount you’ll need for your recipe (linked above if you’re using the one I like) and freeze it separately.

Once again, the recipe I’ll be posting (reposting? Is this reblogging? I don’t know, but it’s not my recipe) is HERE, so follow that or wait until I post Part 2 of 2.

I’ll also link it HERE once I’ve posed it.

Have a great day!

BONUS ADVICE:

Don’t leave your bowl of pumpkin guts near the edge of a counter, or anywhere near where you’re working.

You might have a little accident.

You might have a little accident.

But hey, at least you have a towel that’s already pumpkin-y!

Never Fail Pie Crust Recipe

From my Grandma's old recipe book--so you know it's good.

From my Grandma’s old recipe book–so you know it’s good. Also not really a family recipe, but Mrs. Betty knows where it’s at!

Yep, I made the claim, I stand by it.

This pie crust works for everything, and so long as you follow the instructions, it will NEVER FAIL.

EVER.

Good for dessert type pies (Apple, pumpkin, berry, EVERYTHING, etc…) and dinner type pies (Shepherds, Quiche, EVERYTHING, etc…) and for anything else you might need a crust for, this is the recipe my family uses…

I’m sharing secrets, here. Appreciate it.

I’ll type up the recipe for you now, with notes on what’s VERY IMPORTANT to not fail at making this…

And to be clear: It’s very difficult to mess this up.

1 lb of shortening

4.5 cups flour (white)

1 Egg

1 Tbsp. Vinegar

1 Tsp. Salt

1 Tsp. Baking powder

Water

Measure out the pound of shortening (I know, a whole pound) into the bowl you’ll be doing all the mixing into–so make sure it’ll fit the shortening and 4.5 cups of flour, okay? Set this aside for the moment.

In a separate bowl, measure out the Flour, the Salt, the Baking Powder, and make sure this is thoroughly mixed. Feel free to sift, but a fork works too. Set this aside for the moment.

In a 1 cup measuring device (Like THIS) crack your Egg and add the Vinegar, and mix it up. That fork you used earlier will do the trick, as this is a tiny space for you to try using a whisk.

Now you’ll notice that there is no measurement for how much water you need–that is intentional. You know how eggs come in a variety of sizes? My family usually uses large eggs (Not XL, Just L) in general, but really you can use whatever you have in the house. I don’t suggest you go far from general chicken-egg size (sorry if you were hoping to use quail or ostrich). But to get back on track, the reason for the lack of water measurement is that in that 1 cup measure, you top the egg-vinegar mixture with cold water until it hits the 3/4 cup measuring line. That is how much moisture this needs, no more, no less. Set this aside.

Take your flour mixture and add it to the shorteningdo not use your hands. In my house we use a pastry cutter (Like THIS) to cut the dough, but if you have some other tool, have at it. Just do not use your hands. The point of cutting the dough is to not melt the shortening with the heat from your hands–in bread dough, the heat from your hands starts to activate the yeast in the dough and that’s why it’s good to have really warm hands when you’re a bread maker.

THIS IS NOT THE CASE FOR THIS DOUGH. 

This dough is nice and fluffy and light and delicious, so seriously don’t ruin it. Keep your body heat to yourself.

Cut the dough until it’s thoroughly mixed (when the dough gets stuck to the pastry cutter use a knife or other to dislodge it–no fingers!!) and looks like a cross between wet sand and mashed potatoes. That’s from me, that’s what it looks like to me. Make your own judgement, but the point is to not have loose flour mixture in the bowl and no clumps of floury shortening, and that happens once it reaches wet-sand-mashed-potato stage.

Get that 3/4 filled cup measure of Water, Egg, and Vinegar, and add it to the bowl. Get yourself a large spoon (leave whatever you were using to cut the dough behind) and start mixing. It will still look gloopy when it’s entirely mixed, and that’s ok. That’s good.

Get a large ziploc bag (or other sealing-type-thing) and put all the dough inside, using a spatula on the sides if needed. Get as much air from the bag as you can (Not a big deal if there’s still some air so don’t go crazy manhandling it), seal it, and put it in the fridge.

If you’re planning on using it immediately, it’ll take about an hour for it to firm up, and all you have to do is pull the amount you need from the main dough ball and roll it out on a floured surface as you would normally.

What you don’t use, you can saran wrap up separate portions and put into your freezer for 4-5 months.

It takes me less than half an hour to make a batch, and it’s pretty dish-friendly in that you’ll have very few dishes to deal with afterwards.

The two things to remember for this recipe is

1. Don’t use your hands! and

2. Top up cup measure to 3/4 with cold water AFTER you’ve already got the egg and vinegar in the cup.

Enjoy your pie everyone :)

I’ll put up a link later to my apple pie recipe–and that’s one that I got from meshing up several recipes together! It’s delicious.

EDIT: Part 1 of 2 of my Pumpkin Pie Recipe, Part 2 of 2 (To come), Apple Pie Recipe (To come)

New Project for November– ALWAYS CLOUDY

So National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is coming up soon, and I have been trying to figure out what I want to write about this year. 

For those of you who haven’t yet heard of it, NaNoWriMo ( Nah-No-Re-Mo shortened to Nano) is a month-long writing challenge, where you write 1667 words every day. 

Why does that sound so very simple and yet weirdly specific?

Because the actual goal is to reach 50,000 words by the end of the month, and to do that your goal is to write at least 1667 words every day during the month of November. 

That’s right, from the bum-end of Halloween to the beginning of socially-acceptable Christmas Music, the challenge is to write a novel. You’ve been planning, in general, to write a novel for some time, and this is a chance to kick into gear, with events in your area with fellow writers if you’re interested, and it’s entirely free. People who reach the 50k goal even get a free printed copy of their very own novel, and discounts for otherwise pricey writing software. 

It’s neat. 

My sister Lexy (link to her blog) has participated with me, and this year we’ve convinced our dear Mother to join the fun.

I’ve participated for roughly 5 years now, and recently succeeded in reaching 50k this summer, in Camp Nano, and have succeeded in 3 of those 5 years… but it’s always a question of what I want to work on. 

Sometimes I’ll work on fanfiction, because I like writing fanfiction, and it’s good to stay in practice. Because fanfiction is writing practice, pretty much. What I post is pretty darn popular, too, so as I post I get a lot of feedback. And that’s nice. Link to my stuff.

But I also do work on my own original stuff… I’ve got a couple of stories ongoing, but I work on them pretty consistently during the year, so when I decide not to write fanfiction in November, I like to start on a whole new story. 

Stretch my literary wings, crease my spine and flap my pages free from previously thought up rules and universes. 

And then I thought up Always Cloudy

I’m going to write a blog-story, from the pov of my main character Sunny. He can control clouds–well, only the one, and it only sort of does what he wants, but it’s not like he can tell anyone about it, so… blogging. Nice and anonymous. 

If you’re interested either click the link above for Sunny’s About Me page, or go to>    cumulonimblog.wordpress.com    <for updates starting November.

Thanks be to Lexy for that gem of a blog name :)

Wet Wash Cloths and Comforters– Sleepwalking ‘Pro’ Tip

So I’m an infrequent sleep-walker.

I’m a less infrequent sleep-TALKER, which Lexy updates me on the apparent hilarity my sleeping mind voices, but as I don’t have a “‘pro’ tip”  for that, I’m going to have to leave that topic alone for now.

As you may have guessed, I sleep walked–slept walked?– last night, and I almost made it past my door when a wet wash cloth stopped me.

It may sound a bit odd, but it’s actually pretty impressive. I’ve been rearranging and going through EVERYTHING in my room for roughly the past month (it hasn’t taken that long, the cleaning sessions have simply been spread out), and I’m nearly done but that means that stuff I’m planning on banishing entirely from my room are temporarily taking up floor space so the rest of my family don’t have to deal with it–

So the fact that I MADE it to my door is pretty darn impressive. Dreaming me didn’t even give me any bruises, so yay for that, but WOW. Boxes, laundry baskets, and some stacked other things between bed and door, and dreamer me made it!

Only to be stopped by a wash cloth.

A cold one.

See, being near the end of my cleaning rampage, and having already rearranged my room into something with hopefully less nooks for me to shove things into, I decided sheets were a thing that needed to be dealt with. Unlike Lexy, who has flannel sheets for winter and (I think) cotton ones for summer, I just have the same, super soft cotton ones year-round. I also have this HUGE down comforter that’s just amazing in the winter months–but obviously not so great in the summer.

I dunno if it’s just me, but the transition from Comforter-on-bed to no-comforter-on-bed is a weird one– For half the year you get used to the weight of many blankets, and then everything is too light to sleep once you take that away.

But I also find that when I finally DO remove my comforter, after shoving it aside to a still-giving-off-heat lump of fluff next to me in bed when it’s crazy hot at night, it inevitably turns into a cold snap the night of.

So last night was freezing.

Boxer-shorts and t-shirts are amazing pj wear when it’s hot, but otherwise it’s a no-no.

I think dreaming-me was trying to go in search of blankets.

But was stopped by a wet wash cloth.

If you are curious as to why there’s a wet wash cloth in my room, I will remind you that I’ve been cleaning up my room, moving things around–that means dusting, which translates to using a wet washcloth to wipe everything down. Why was it STILL in my room after I was done with it? Well I was a bit bored of cleaning and didn’t feel like bringing the cloth to the basement for it to be washed, so I just hung it to dry on the door handle to my room.

Yes I’m that lazy when I get bored with something, and hey, it stopped me sleep-walking outside of my room, so.

Sleep-walking me made it across the tripping-hazard that is my room’s floor, and made it to the door, tried to OPEN the door, and was startled by the feel of a cold-wet-something in hand to wake me up.

So.

Do YOU have a sleep-walking problem? Close the door to your room before you go to bed.

Can you open doors when sleep-walking? Well how about a damp wash cloth? Cheaper and safer than a lock on your door!

There’s my sleep-walking tip for you.

*jazzy hands*

Ta da!

Also when changing from winter-appropriate sheets to summer-appropriate sheets, have an extra blanket on hand.

Or make sure your window is closed.

I Am the One Who Knocks (And No One is Home)

oh god ali

So, I’m only now getting into Breaking Bad (I know, shut up, I am the one who knocks last apparently), and found this picture, and turned to show it to my much-farther-into-the-show-than-I-am sister.

She smiled, but looked a bit confused, so I said “It’s blue rock candy,” because that’s probably the only confusing part of the picture.

She gave me a look, and, still smiling, said,

“But why does the baby have a goatee?”

She thought the baby was supposed to be a leprechaun.

A leprechaun guys, a Leprechaun.

She says she worries that she’s living inside of a blonde joke sometimes.

To those in the know of my other blog posts, you can find my sister, Lexy, at the link in her name.