I love baking pies – but as luck would have it, my husband’s Uncle owns a pie factory. They make all manner of very, very tasty pies – most of which feature ingredients grown on their organic farm in Central Virginia. Their pies are available at our farm for much of the year: we sell them at our vegetable stands in summer and during the Fall Festival AND they bring plenty to Thanksgiving dinner every year. So – as one might imagine – there is no point in me baking pies anymore! But every now and again, my urge to bake a pie coincides with plenty of free time, and I MUST bake.
Last weekend was just such an occasion, so I pulled out my stack of Cook’s Illustrated Magazines (which I highly recommend, by the way) and found a couple recipes. First up, skillet apple pie – you start by sauteing peeled, sliced apples in butter:
Then you add a mixture of spices, cornstarch, and apple cider to coat the apples, and then you cover everything with a layer of crust (clearly, I’m not too fussy about looks):
I put the whole thing into the oven at 500 deg for 20 min:
And presto! All baked and pretty darn tasty!
The second and final pie was a mostly-from-scratch pumpkin pie. I started by roasting a pie pumpkin and (upon my mother-in-law’s recommendation) a “neck pumpkin” or butternut squash. I chopped both in half, then into pieces that would fit on baking sheets, and roasted them in the oven at 350 deg for 1 hr:
After baking (which I forgot to get a photo of), the walls of the gourds were soft and I easily scooped out the “flesh” and ran it through a food processor. I decided to use the pie pumpkin for the pumpkin pie and freeze the butternut squash for soup sometime later.
Fast forward to having made the crust and the pie filling (which contains the pumpkin, a can of candied yams [hence “mostly-from-scratch”], cream, vanilla, egg and spices), and having baked it – this is what it looked like as it was cooling:
It’s a much more custard-y pie than your typical canned Libby’s version, which I really liked. I think this will be my go-to recipe from now on.
And now that my baking urge has been satisfied for another few months, I’ll go back to my knitting…