Building on my happiness with smoked pumpkin, I got a little more ambitious a few years ago: smoked pumpkin pie with maple syrup. Turning the smoky squash into a soup with bacon was easy; how can you mess up anything that combines smoke with cured pork?
Smoked dessert is a little more difficult, though. Pumpkin pie is an old standby, a classic. You load it up on a fork, take a bite, autumn yumminess follows, you gain a few pounds by overindulging, and make a New Year’s resolution two months later that you promptly forget. It’s like clockwork. Tweaking it would be like reinventing Coke, and we all know how that fiasco turned out. Well, those of us who didn’t spend the `80s in diapers do, anyway.
I didn’t just want to throw smoked pumpkin into the mix because I thought it might be too much of a shock to the system. I needed a way to meld the flavors. A mortar for the bricks, so to speak. After some brief research, I came across a recipe for Maple Pumpkin Pie and made a couple of other changes to it by adding cinnamon and nutmeg just to kind of make it my own thing, then got started on my first ever homemade pumpkin pie.
The smell that came out of the oven was wonderful, and confirmation came when I bit into my first slice of pie. The flavors worked! Between the maple and the brown patina of the smoked pumpkin, I got a pie that was a rich dark brown. It was very sweet, and the maple and smoke really added unique flavor that fit well with the rest of the pie.
- 2 cups strained and pureed smoked pumpkin
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- pastry for a 9-inch pie crust
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- It's best to puree the pumpkin in small batches
- After that, combine the pumpkin with everything but the pie crust and blend it all until smooth.
- Pour the mixture into the crust and bake the pie for 40 to 50 minutes or until you can insert a toothpick into the pie and pull it out clean.
- Let it cool for an hour, then chill it in the refrigerator before serving.
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