The husband and I are going to an early Halloween party tonight and I decided to put the homemade pumpkin pie filling I made a couple of weeks ago to good use.
I used my friend Hilary's recipe as a jumping off point and tweaked it to suit my tastes
Here's his recipe with my changes in parentheses:
PREPARING THE PUMPKIN
Rinse off 2 small pie pumpkins. Break off the stems and split them lengthwise. Scoop out the pulp and discard or reserve seeds if desired. Scrape out any remaining pulp with a spoon.
Put the pumpkin halves cut side down in lasagna pans. Add 1/2 - 1 inch of hot water to the pans to keep the insides of the pumpkins from drying out. Bake at 400 degrees for 45-60 minutes, until the outside is a bit bubbly and brown, and the sides near the waterline feel soft. (I didn't do it this way. I placed my pumpkin halves face down in a foil tent sprayed with non-stick oil and baked them on a cookie sheet at 400 for 1 hour.)
Take them out and let them cool. Once they're cool enough to handle, scoop out the insides with a spoon, then mash or puree them.
4 eggs, slightly beaten
4 cups of mashed or pureed pumpkin
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. fresh-grated nutmeg
(1 tsp allspice)
(1/2 tsp ground cardamom)
3 1/4 c. half and half
2 9" unbaked homemade pie shells with high fluted edge
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Beat the eggs, then stir in the pumpkin. Mix the sugar and spices in a small bowl, then stir them into the filling. (I switched this up a bit by adding the spices directly to my pumpkin while pureeing it.) Add the half and half last. Divide evenly into pie shells.
Bake 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake an additional 45 minutes or until knife inserted near center of each pie comes out clean. Cool; garnish, if desired, with fresh whipped cream.
Using his recipe with my alterations, I also used this pie crust to make mini pumpkin tarts. I had to adjust the cooking time and temperature a bit, as the crust burned during a test run at 425 before the filling began to firm up. Note: It didn't do this when I made a whole pie following Hilary's instructions. Definitely follow his recipe when making a whole pie. For the tarts I used a small biscuit cutter to cut the crust dough into circles and them pinched them with my fingers until they could fit inside mini muffin tins with a little crinkling along the edges. Then I filled them with the pumpkin pie filling and baked them for 35 minutes at 350 degrees. They turned out gorgeously! A little fresh whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg, and I imagine they'll be a big hit later tonight.