GREENWICH, CT – The past few months have sparked new interest in baking, as Americans spend more time squatting in their homes to avoid the coronavirus. Buying a pumpkin for a jack-o’-lantern is one reason to visit pumpkin plots near Greenwich, but 2020 could also be the year to make pumpkin pies from scratch.
Of course, canned pumpkin will do. It’s healthy and packed with nutrients, and some of the best cooking websites say it compares well to homemade pumpkin puree and saves busy cooks a lot of time. (To sign up for Greenwich late-breaking alerts and more, click here.)
But there is something soothing, meditative, and cathartic about digging into the pumpkin with your hands and scooping up the stringy innards and seeds. The culinary revolution of the coronavirus reflects our collective thirst to take control of at least one thing in our disrupted lives. #StressBaking isn’t just a social media hashtag.
Just dress for the occasion and wear gloves if the stickiness is too much for you.
The first thing you need to do is go to one of the pumpkin patches around Greenwich. Here are a few:
- Outdoor orchards, 139 Hardscrabble Road, North Salem, New York State. Open 7 days a week, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visiting the farm on weekends and / or holidays requires reservation due to COVID-19 protocols.
Southern Living says that small, round sugar pumpkins, sometimes referred to as pie or sweet pumpkins, are the best pumpkins for baking. The stem should be brown, but still firmly attached, and check for blemishes and bruising. And don’t get hung up on the color. As a pumpkin ripens, its flesh becomes dull.
JoyFoodSunshine was our first stop on the internet looking for classic homemade pumpkin pie recipes. It takes an investment of time – just over two hours – but blogger Laura says on her website that the 10 ingredient recipe “is the only pumpkin pie recipe you’ll ever need” and that “literally everything. the world “who tries it falls in love with it.
“It’s a lovely blend of sweet, creamy and spicy flavors that encompasses all that is wonderful in fall,” says Laura.
Everything about this pie is made from scratch, from the crust to the dollop of homemade whipped cream added after being plated. Laura tells you everything you need to know, from the tools you’ll need to how to know when the cake is ready.
Sheri B., whose pumpkin pie from scratch recipe is featured on Food.com, says roasted pumpkin can be mashed using a sieve, grinder, or blender or food processor, but she likes to create the filling with a hand-held potato masher.
For some cooks, the secret ingredients of pumpkin pie make it an unforgettable dessert. New York-based food and wine writer Mandy Naglich’s recipe on Taste Of Home calls for cracked black pepper.
“The best way to preserve the spiciness of pumpkin spice is to use freshly cracked black pepper,” Naglich writes. “It adds a robust bite to the traditional spice blend, which appears subtly in every bite of pumpkin pie.”
The pepper won’t make the pie “spicy,” but guests may ask where you got the super fresh spices, she says.
“Food Hussy” Heather Johnson touts the secret ingredient in her mother’s pumpkin pie recipe. For years Johnson’s mother refused to share the recipe, but ultimately gave it up to her blogger daughter: it’s Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry, a dessert wine.
Once you’ve gone to the trouble of baking a pumpkin pie from scratch, you may decide to use a box of pumpkin pie filling is easier. But it’s a coronavirus quarantine memory, and hopefully a pleasant one, that you will always have.