Every year, like many of you, we carve a pumpkin to set out the week before Halloween. This year we ended up with three pumpkins, and we only carved one of them. The girls wanted to paint their pumpkins, and I don’t blame them. I don’t like touching the insides either.
The night finally came to decorate the pumpkins. We usually do this on the Sunday before Halloween, since we have more time on Sunday afternoons. We also don’t want our pumpkins to rot before Halloween. We set the mood by listening to “Monster Mash Radio,” a station we created on Pandora by typing in The Monster Mash. Pandora somehow finds other songs that are similar. You know, silly not-so-scary Halloween songs from the 50s (or whenever). We also drink hot chocolate, because lets face it, we live in Indiana, and it’s usually cold at the end of October.
Big E drew the face she wanted on the pumpkin, and J carved it out. The girls painted their pumpkins with acrylic craft paint. It’s probably not the best choice for painting pumpkins, but it’s washable and that’s important. You can see, in the pictures below, how the pumpkins turned out.
Do you like my ghost? I got the idea from Pinterest
, of course. It’s a tomato cage turned upside down. I wrapped Christmas lights around it and covered it with a sheet. Then, I glued some felt eyes onto it. I stuck a big flower pot under the cage so that it wouldn’t tip over in the wind.
So, Halloween came and went. We threw out the carved pumpkin because, well, it was gross. I do not, under any circumstances, recommend making a pie from a carved pumpkin. I’m sure there is lots of bacteria that you don’t even want to mess with. Just use the painted pumpkins or buy a new pumpkin if you want to make pies.
There are many different kinds of pumpkins. They actually sell pie pumpkins at the store, and they are really good for pies. They are small and sweeter than other pumpkins. While our painted pumpkins were small, I don’t think they were pie pumpkins. We got them at the pumpkin patch, so they weren’t really labeled.You can use any pumpkin for pie, they will just have slightly different flavors. Now, that we have that settled, here is the recipe for the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever made.
This was adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe
. I used a frozen crust, but this gingersnap crust sound amazing!
I forgot to pre-bake the frozen crust! Everything turned out fine, luckily!
- Preheat oven to 400*
- Cut the pumpkin in half, and scoop out all the seeds and strings.
- Lay the skin side up in a foil lined pan.
- Bake the pumpkin about 30 minutes, or until it’s tender.
- Remove from oven, and cool for about an hour.
- Use a spoon, scoop out the flesh, and put it in a food processor. Process until smooth.
2 cups of pumpkin puree (made above)
3 Tbl butter + enough milk to make 1 cup
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
- Bring pumpkin puree to simmer in a saucepan. Cook until thickened, about 2 minutes.
- Add milk mixture, pie spice, cinnamon, and salt. Bring to simmer. Remove from heat and cool about 10 minutes.
- Whisk brown sugar and eggs. Add in pumpkin mixture. Pour into pie crust.
- Bake 45 minutes, or until edges are just set.
- Cool before slicing.