Did anyone else sort of lose their minds when they saw that pie picture from Deb Dana’s post yesterday?
I did. The pies were so sexy! The meringues on them were so perfectly browned. And the lust is compounded by the fact that we’re just one day from Thanksgiving and all its culinary pleasures.
But Thanksgiving itself can be sort of a stressful cooking day, even without perfect pies, and most of us are not Dana’s mom. Sadly. We don’t need another recipe for Thanksgiving at this point because we’re either not cooking tomorrow or are already having our first nervous breakdown regarding the appropriate time to start brining an 18 lb turkey in a home depot pail in the garage (it’s too late if you haven’t started yet).
And then a lot of people go shopping on Friday and stampede each other for Furbees and 3D Digital LCD Widescreen Lite Brites. There’s a lot I could say about this bizarre national ritual, but I will hold my tongue because you never know, someday one of my books might be made into a movie, and the DVD of that movie might be marked down to $4.99 at Wal*Mart between 1:30 and 1:45 am on the day after Thanksgiving, and I might want people to actually leave their warm beds and their sleeping families and their midnight leftover turkey and stuffing sandwiches to go to the store and snap that deal up. You never know.
Until that day I will persist in believing that the only appropriate way to spend the day after Thanksgiving is to eat pie for three meals a day. And in order to make this happen when my pie-snarfing brother was a teenager, my mom somehow metabolized an extra pie sometime between when we went to bed on Thursday and when we awakened to break our fast the next morning. Because yes, pumpkin pie is a breakfast food. And yes, you can put some extra cool whip in your coffee when no one is looking.
If you’re in charge of Friday Breakfast Pie, I have an excellent recipe for you. It originates from my friend Carolyn but I’ve since doctored it to be soy-free and dairy-free. Lots of people are gluten-free too nowadays and you can get there by buying one of many decent-tasting gluten-free crust mixes. If you are lucky enough to be free-free and can have regular crust, just put flour and icey-cold butter in the food pro with a splash of vodka and smoodge it into a pan and you’re set. It won’t look like Dana’s mom made it but it will do.
You’ll note that this recipe requires an actual sugar pumpkin. You might have bought a couple as harvesty decorations, or, like me, you might grow them in freakish quantities quite by accident. Now is the time to throw those babies in the oven. If you don’t have one, make the pie recipe from the side of the can. It’s good too, especially if you double the spices and add a peeled and mashed microwaved sweet potato to the mix. (Really.)
Carolyn’s Delicious Pie for Dessert, Breakfast, Elevensies, and Then Dessert Again:
- 1 small sugar pumpkin
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup real maple syrup– put down the Hungry Jack and use the real stuff here. Just this once.
- 1 1/4 cups unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour (or 1/8 tsp cornstarch plus rice flour)
- 3 eggs
- 1 unbaked pie crust (You get this to be dairy-free by using that glorious superfood Crisco. Calm yourself. It’s a holiday.)
Preheat the oven to 375. Or don’t. I play pretty fast and loose with preheating.
Take the ‘lid’ off the pumpkin, scoop out the seeds with a melon baller or grapefruit spoon (if you have neither of these items you should consider eating more fruit) and bake it for an hour.
Reduce heat in the oven to 350. Meanwhile scrape the pumpkin guts into a blender or food processor and whir it around until it starts to resemble the stuff in the can. You’ll need a cup and a half of pumpkin puree. Use the rest to make Rachel Ray’s yummy macaroni and cheese the next day.
Mix the 1 1/2 cups of puree with all the other ingredients (except the pie crust, obviously). Don’t put the eggs in until last and make sure the pumpkin’s not hot enough to scramble them when you do add them. Otherwise, ick. I have done this. Twice.
Pour the mix into the pie shell and bake the whole mess for another hour. What? You’d rather be standing in line outside a Toys R Us? Just have a glass of wine and wait for the pie to bake. Maybe watch a Harry Potter movie or beat your kids at Scrabble. That’s what the holidays are for.
When the center is set let the pie cool down. Go to bed. Don’t forget to turn off the oven. If necessary, apologize to your kids for the trash talking you did while you were playing Scrabble, but don’t worry too much. They’ll forgive you in the morning, over their fresh breakfast pie.