I adore the crisp warm comforts of thanksgiving, and I have always loved the spicy, velvety sweetness of pumpkin pie that manages to be festive and reminiscent, but also quite hearty and somehow inherently nutritious. Because we don’t really do grains here at our house, my pies are almost always crustless. And although this might sound sacrilegious to some, I really don’t miss the crust whatsoever.
Pumpkin, Squash, or sweet potato pie–these are really impossible to destroy. Therefore, I truly never use a recipe, but simply bung together vegetable, creaminess, and egg.
For example, 2 cups of squashed squash (or potato), 1 or 2 or so cups of cream, or almond milk, or something like that, and 6 or so eggs. Depending on the ratios, you may end up with a vague and muddled pudding, or a tenacious and firm custard. I suppose it takes a measure of deduction as well as experience: the more egg, the firmer your outcome.
When it comes to sweet, I use honey, although maple syrup is lovely, too. My preference is usually honey though, for reasons that may sound rather strange and obtuse. One year, we tapped a maple tree, and after much laborious effort, extracted from our trouble about a teaspoon of syrup. I can’t help but wonder at the goofiness of humanity. Somehow I have developed a disapproval for bleeding maple trees, when the bees go ahead and do all that work for us. Also, philosophically, the raw simplicity of honey appeals to me much more than the roiling and boiling we have to do in order to beat sap into submission. Please. I understand that these concerns have no real merit. All emotion, all of it.
We went nuts this evening and enjoyed a pre-Thanksgiving supper of Sockeye salmon trucked all the way from the West Coast. I do not approve, I promise. But for reasons I won’t go into, I have been feeling a little bit sorry for myself lately, and at the very moment that I felt an unbearable yearning for the big-tree-mountain Salish Sea, I just happened to walk by the frozen fish aisle at the big bad grocery store, and convinced myself to purchase, at great and unreasonable expense, a piece of Sockeye. It was absolutely delicious, and I’m glad I did it, and I promise to wait another whole year before breaking all of my local foodie ideals in such a rambunctious way. But the pumpkin pie came from our little garden that could. The crumblies on top are a mixture of butter, coconut flour, honey and walnuts. I did add some cinnamon and spice, but forgot the ginger. Darn.
Oh, and I love nutmeg. Welcome, fall & winter.