Baked History: Yum-kin Pie
Happy Halloween-month everyone! No I’m not one of those people who starts celebrating holidays in advance – but I thought it would be great to theme the rest of articles this month around the holiday so many other people love!
Just a house keeping note, you all may have noticed the site’s been very busy as of late. I’m most certainly going to try and maintain that but Inspyre and I will be having some life changes coming up, so we may not be as consistent.
As usual, if any one has any comments, questions or article ideas, please feel free to comment below or contact us directly!
Today, we’ll be talking about the history of PUMPKIN PIE (my favorite dessert). The first pumpkins were cultivated in 5500 BC in Central America, making it one of the original American vegetables. Due to it’s age, it was one of the first vegetables that explorers to the Americas took back to Europe . By the late 1500s, the English were calling them “pumpions” and the French, “pompon”, both references to it’s roundness. Though original visitors to the Americas during this time may have been familiar with the vegetable, it most certainly did not gain popularity until much later.
As many Americans and Canadians are taught at a young age, when the countries were originally settled back in the 1600s, the Pilgrims and Natives shared….varying relationships depending on the location – more often than not, incredibly violent. When the first winter came around, and many Pilgrims died or realized they were going to shortly thereafter without help, relations improved. Legend goes that the Natives brought pumpkins for the pilgrims as a sign of good faith and to provide them with the necessary nutrients . Pumpkins are not only native to the Americas, but the Natives were fond of boiling or roasting members of the squash family for sustenance.
Eventually, the discovery of the pumpkin made its way to France, where Francois Pierre la Varenne wrote a cookbook that has the first written recipe of pumpkin pie included . This cookbook’s English translation made it’s way back to the Americas and Britain where the recipe began to evolve. In the late 1600s, a variety of British cookbooks began showing up with a different variations of what they call “pumpion pie”, and finally in the 1700s, the first American cookbook by Amelia Simmons was published, whose Pumpkin pudding recipe largely resembles our recipe today.
Amelia Simmons recipes :
Pompkin Pudding No. 1. One quart stewed and strained, 3 pints cream, 9 beaten eggs, sugar, mace, nutmeg and ginger, laid into paste No. 7 or 3, and with a dough spur, cross and chequer it, and baked in dishes three quarters of an hour.
Pompkin Pudding No. 2. One quart of milk, 1 pint pompkin, 4 eggs, molasses, allspice and ginger in a crust, bake 1 hour.
If you’re looking for a more modern recipe, I HIGHLY recommend either a Costco Pumpkin Pie or this recipe from Food Network !
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter (1 stick), diced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Flour for rolling the dough
One 15-ounce can unsweetened pure pumpkin puree (about 2 cups)
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups half-and-half
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- Make the dough by hand. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Using your fingers, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles yellow corn meal mixed with bean-sized bits of butter. (If the flour/butter mixture gets warm, refrigerate it for 10 minutes before proceeding.) Add the egg and stir the dough together with a fork or by hand in the bowl. If the dough is dry, sprinkle up to a tablespoon more of cold water over the mixture.
- Alternatively, make the dough in a food processor. With the machine fitted with the metal blade, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add the butter and pulse until it resembles yellow corn meal mixed with bean-sized bits of butter, about 10 times. Add the egg and pulse 1 to 2 times; don’t let the dough form into a ball in the machine. (If the dough is very dry add up to a tablespoon more of cold water.) Remove the bowl from the machine, remove the blade, and bring the dough together by hand.
- Form the dough into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough with a rolling pin into a 12-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie pan and trim the edges, leaving about an extra inch hanging over the edge. Tuck the overhanging dough underneath itself to form a thick edge that is even with the rim. Flute the edge as desired. Freeze the pie shell for 30 minutes.
- Set separate racks in the center and lower third of oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Put a piece of parchment paper or foil over the pie shell and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake on a baking sheet on the center rack until the dough is set, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and lift sides of the parchment paper to remove the beans. Continue baking until the pie shell is lightly golden brown, about 10 more minutes. Cool on a rack.
- Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
- While the pie shell is cooling make the filling. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, half-and-half, spices, and salt until smooth. Return the pie shell to the baking sheet and pour in the filling.
- Bake on the lower oven rack until the edges of the filling are set but the center is still slightly loose, about 50 to 60 minutes. (If the edges get very dark, cover them with aluminum foil.) Cool on a rack. Serve room temperature or slightly warm.
Well I hope you all enjoyed our Yummy article, and feel free to leave comments below!
Hello all. Look at what a good job I’m doing already! Two posts in two days!
Anyways, with it being September 11th today, I thought it would be an excellent time to revisit the progress our nation should have made in the last 14 years. Despite over a decade having passed, ignorance and intolerance are at an all time high and it seems not all that much progress has been made.
A little bit of backstory, a couple of days ago, a Sikh man was attacked and brutally beaten in Chicago. You can find the article here .
Now there’s a lot of things I want to say about this topic, because I feel incredibly passionate about it. I’ve mentioned it before, but I am a member of the Sikh community, and since the September 11th attacks, our community has faced a number of assaults, bigotry and hate-crimes. Our temples or Gurdwaras have been vandalized, our people beaten, and discrimination has been abundant. Personally, I feel a large part of this is ignorance on the part of the American community. Many Americans felt angry after the attacks and wished to target Muslims and take out their anger on them. Though this act in itself is the exact opposite reaction the bigotted American community should have had, the end result was that most of the anger got taken out on Sikhs. Why? Because we wear turbans or paags, and many Americans seem to think this is somehow a Muslim trait (for the record, Muslims don’t wear turbans as a religious ornament, despite common misconception). I’ll save for another post why the Sikh community has these traditions and their purpose, but for now, what I want to say is that the discrimination ANY person faces because of their perceived faith or religion is absolutely unacceptable.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately. And one of these podcasts has been “Waking Up” by Sam Harris. I would absolutely recommend this podcast and you can find it here . Sam has a lot of strong opinions on meditation, politics, philosophy, but mainly, Islam. Now as much as I love him, I disagree with a lot of his attitudes about the Muslim community. And Sam (an incredibly educated man) is perpetuating this hatred towards Islam and Asian cultures. Now, in Sam’s defense, he actually has a very well-educated and thought out opinion on the matter, but the problem is that it takes an open-minded and intelligent person to really understand his combination of politics and philosophy, which leads to a lot of people saying “Sam Harris is great! He hates Muslims! Let’s kill them all!” which is not the point he is making at all. And when we really take the time to look at tolerance towards minorities, discrimination against Asian communities has gotten so much worse in the last 14 years. Granted a part of this may be due to the worsening conditions of the nation as a whole, but when you have what must be described as hate crimes and domestic terrorism taking place on a regular basis, to the point that President Obama has had to address more national tragedies than any other president, we really need to take a hard look at ourselves.
The United States is inspiring a culture of close-minded, racist bigots, despite mountainous efforts against these groups. In no other country would it be acceptable for a potential presidential candidate to say something akin to “send all the ______ back to where they came from,” with the most recent injuries coming from Presidential candidates Donald Trump in regards to Mexicans and Jeb Bush with Asians. If any other Presidential hopeful in another nation stated that, the US would immediately jump on the “That’s racist. Are we going down a genocide path?” and ardently be against said candidate the entire time. However, it’s fine in the US because “we’re the best nation on Earth”? These double standards are exactly what’s creating an increasingly unsafe environment, with more and more US citizens looking away from domestic terrorism because “terrorism isn’t an internal issue”.
I started off this article wanting to talk about Sikh rights and the issues we face as a community, but really, this issue extends to all non-male, non-white individuals. I’m not going to go through the countless examples of hate taking place in our nation. If you haven’t noticed, that’s a completely different issue. However, I would recommend you simply Google any minority group and articles will pop up with numerous accounts of beatings and discrimination. It’s 2015, and we JUST had the first Sikh policeman be allowed to display his faith openly in the US ; we JUST legalized gay marriages , though by NO means does that means we’ve legalized LGBT rights; we JUST had the first FEMALE coach in the NFL . We’ve still never had a female president. Honestly, if we’re so proud of ourselves as a nation, shouldn’t we be “beating” countries like India and Pakistan and even Liberia in terms of social equality? We, as an AMERICAN community, need to come together as a nation, and make it unacceptable for hate-crimes and domestic terrorism to take place against ANY group of people. Otherwise, we really are living in a terrorist state.