The best pie comes from fresh pumpkins, so instead of buying canned pumpkin for your pumpkin pies, use a fresh one!
To Bake the Pumpkin:
Wash and dry the pumpkin thoroughly
Carefully remove the stem with a butter knife, then cut directly in half (from the site of the stem to the bottom) with a serrated knife.
Completely clean the inside of the pumpkin of all seeds, strings, and other goo.
Cover a pan with tin foil and place the pumpkin halves on the foil, face down (so the round side sticks upwards).
Place the pan in an oven at 350 degrees.
Bake for an hour and a half to two hours. When finished, the pumpkin flesh will be soft and the outside skin may turn brown (almost burnt-looking).
When finished, remove from oven and let tet the pumpkin cool completely.
Once completely cool, peel the skin from the flesh of the pumpkin. The skin may simply peel off, or a spoon may be necessary to completely remove the skin.
Mash or blend the pumpkin flesh. This is dependent on the pumpkin pie recipe, some ask for pumpkin puré (blended) while others do not (mash). (If the recipe calls for canned pumpkin, blend the pumpkin).
½ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 ¼ cups evaporated milk
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups pumpkin (puréd or canned)
Mix the dry ingredients (brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg) in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix the pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, and pumpkin. (I often chose to blend this mixture until creamy)
Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. (I chose to whisk or blend this as well, but be careful not to overbeat the eggs ).
Prepare the pie tin and crust:
Lay out a pie crust (homemade or store bought) in a lightly-buttered pie pan. (A pie pan with a diameter of 9 inches and depth of at least 1.5 inches is suggested.
Pour the filling into the pie pan until it is almost all the way full.
Bake at 400° F for 40 to 50 minutes. To determine if it is finished baking, the middle of the pie can be poked with a fork. If the fork comes out clean, the pie is finished. The center of the pie should still look wobbly, if the pie is cracked it is overcooked.
Let the pie cool completely, which will take about two hours. (During this time the middle of the pie will become firm).
Serve and enjoy your homemade pumpkin pie.
(Recipe adapted from kingarthurflour.com)