Blustery days are the perfect time to bake something special.
I wanted to make a pumpkin pie from scratch, so I took the seeds out of a pumpkin, cut it in pieces and cooked it in the microwave for about 10 minutes. Then I pulled off the peel, mashed the pumpkin and used it in a regular pumpkin pie recipe. The pie was a disappointment--not much flavor and the texture wasn't right. What did I do wrong?
The terrible truth is that the best pumpkin pie isn't made from pumpkin, but from winter squash such as butternut, hubbard or acorn. The squash has more color and flavor and less stringiness than pumpkin.
If you repeat what you did before using winter squash you will like the results much better, and you can still call it pumpkin pie. Everyone else does. To be sure of a smooth texture you might want to puree the cooked squash with a food mill or in a blender using some of the milk from the pie recipe if it's needed. For those without a microwave, you can steam or bake the squash to cook it. -- Pat Katz
Mary Beth Keim, Crawfordsville, IN, sent us a recipe for pumpkin butter that's cheap to make and tastes like pumpkin pie. It's from Indiana Farmers Guide Cookbook, (1928).
Pumpkin Butter 6 pounds pumpkin 2 tablespoons cinnamon 5 pounds light brown sugar 5 lemons 2 tablespoons ground ginger 1 teaspoon allspice 1 pint water
Peel pumpkin, chop fine or put through food chopper. Add spices and sugar together with lemon juice. Put through food chopper. Let this mixture (pumpkin, rind, sugar and juice) stand overnight.
In the morning add one pint water. Boil gently until clear, soft and thick. Pack into hot jars and seal. Process for five minutes.
These two recipes first appeared in the 76/6 issue.
I have been searching hopelessly for a recipe for making graham crackers. All I get is millions of hints on graham cracker pie crusts. Thanks. Tommy Thompson; tthomps2 @twcny.rr.com
Graham crackers 1/2 cup butter 2/3 cup brown sugar 2-3/4 cup whole wheat or graham flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (or to taste) 1/2 cup water
Cream butter and sugar. Add combined dry ingredients alternately with 1/2 cup water. Work it into a thick paste. Let stand covered for 30 minutes.
Roll out one quarter of the dough at a time, on a floured surface, to 1/8 inch thick. Cut with a pizza cutter if desired.
Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet until the edges begin to brown, approximately 12 minutes at 350 [degrees] F.