A Great Big Harvest Festival Thank You!

Plus a couple of pumpkin pie recipes 🙂  What an amazing Harvest Festival we had on Sunday!  The weather was just right and everyone was having a great time.  There were some beautiful flower wreaths/crowns, great musical instruments and plenty of well decorated lunch bags. 

We would like to thank all the folks that came out and participated in our activities and ate all our food for us (we were worried that we made too much).  Plus we would really like to thank all of our amazing volunteers and special guests for all the help, enthusiasm and entertainment they provided!  We really can’t run these events without them.  Finally, as always, we also want to thank our amazing Program Leaders for all of their hard work and dedication!  They are one outstanding bunch.

Now for what you’ve all been waiting for … The Pumpkin Pie Recipe.  This is a special recipe given to us by our friends down at Colborne Lodge.  The pie filling comes from The Canadian Home Cookbook –  printed in 1877 and compiled by the Ladies of Toronto and Chief Cities and Towns in Canada.  It was assumed that all ladies knew how to make a basic pie crust so no recipe for one was provided … This is where we looked towards new technologies and hit the internet to find Martha Stewart’s basic pie crust recipe. 😉  Interestingly enough this pie crust recipe hasn’t changed much since the Ladies of Toronto and Chief Cities and Towns in Canada put out their cookbook a century and a half ago (although I’m pretty sure the food processor is a relatively new addition!).

We did change a few things from the original version to get a piece of pie that was a little more … mobile friendly.  So I’ll list the original recipe and our pumpkin pie/bar/cookie recipe.

Original Version – Makes 2 Pies:

Filling – From The Canadian Home Cookbook –  printed in 1877 and compiled by the Ladies of Toronto and Chief Cities and Towns in Canada.

2 cups of boiled squash (butternut squash or pumpkin work well)
¾ cup of brown sugar
3 eggs
2 tbsp of molasses
1 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp ginger (powdered)
1 tsp of cinnamon
2 cups of milk
A pinch of salt

Pie Crust – from MarthaStewart.com:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed (more was needed at the time)

Instructions:

Start making the crust first.  Make sure all ingredients are cold to make the flakiest crust.  Add the flour, salt and sugar to a food processor.  Pulse to mix.  Add butter and pulse 6-8 times until it looks like coarse meal (do not over mix).  Add ice water one tablespoon at a time and pulse until the dough starts to hold together.  Check to see if the dough holds together when squeezed.  If so it’s ready to go.  Divide dough in half, and shape into disks. Wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or up to 2 days).

Roll out the dough on a floured surface being careful not to work it too much.  You want it about an 1/8 th of an inch thick.  Cut the dough into a circle about 16 inches wide and fit into a pie shell.  Shape large, loose half circles at edge of dough, then fold into a wavelike pattern to create a fluted edge. Prick bottom of dough all over with a fork. Freeze for 15 minutes.

Cut a circle of parchment, at least 16 inches wide, and fit into pie shell. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until edges of crust begin to turn gold, about 15 minutes.

Remove pie weights and parchment. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool.

Meanwhile, whisk pumpkin, sugar, eggs, molasses, melted butter, ginger, cinnamon, milk and salt in a large bowl.

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Transfer pie dish to a rimmed baking sheet, and pour pumpkin mixture into cooled crust. Bake until center is set but still a bit wobbly, 50 to 55 minutes. (If crust browns too quickly, tent edges with a strip of foil folded in half lengthwise.) Let cool in pie dish on a wire rack. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 6 hours (preferably overnight).

Now here’s what we actually did:

Filling:

2 cups of boiled squash (pumpkin – most of which was from our garden)
¾ cup of brown sugar
3 eggs
2 tbsp of molasses
1 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp ginger (we used fresh ginger and cut it down to about 1 tsp maybe 2 … depends upon how much you like your ginger 🙂 )
1 tsp of cinnamon
3/4 cup of milk – This is the big change
A pinch of salt

Crust:

Still mostly the same recipe from MarthaStewart.com

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4 to 6 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed (we ended up with 8-10 and could have used more if we were to make this a proper pie crust)

Instructions:

Start making the crust first.  Make sure all ingredients are cold to make the flakiest crust.  Add the flour, salt and sugar to a food processor.  Pulse to mix.  Add butter and pulse 6-8 times until it looks like coarse meal (do not over mix).  Add ice water one tablespoon at a time and pulse until the dough starts to hold together.  Check to see if dough holds together when squeezed.  If so it’s ready to go.

Divide dough in half, and shape into disks. Wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days (Our dough was holding together but still quite dry.  It was rather difficult to keep it together in a disk or to roll.  Part of the reason behind this could be the dryness in the air and the whole wheat flour we added.  You might need to use more water to make this a proper pie crust).

At this point because our dough was not rolling out well we switched to pressing it into the pan.  This gave us more of a shortbread type consistency with the dough – once pressed into the pan prick with a fork all over and put back into the fridge for another 20 minutes to an hour.

Take out the pan and bake at 350° F for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  We didn’t use pie weights and it worked well … turning the crust into more of a cookie base.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, whisk pumpkin, sugar, eggs, molasses, melted butter, ginger, cinnamon, milk and salt in a large bowl.

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Transfer pie dish to a rimmed baking sheet, and pour pumpkin mixture into cooled crust. Bake until center is set but still a bit wobbly, 50 to 55 minutes. (If crust browns too quickly, tent edges with a strip of foil folded in half lengthwise.) Let cool in pie dish on a wire rack. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 6 hours (preferably overnight).

We figured anything with that much butter in it was going to taste good 😉  Let us know in the comments below your pumpkin pie recipes … Anyone with a vegan recipe or gluten-free … or just plain yummy one?

2 thoughts on “A Great Big Harvest Festival Thank You!

    1. Your vegan-gluten free pumpkin pie recipe looks great! I aimed for a vegan-sugar free version and it almost worked 🙂 I went for date syrup instead of sugar and added a bit of quinoa flour to make up for the extra moisture. I think I’ll be trying your version soon!

      Ok … now I’m hungry … 😉

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