Cinderella’s fairy godmother may have worked her magic to turn that pumpkin into something fit for a royal ball. But in our case, the pumpkin IS the magic.
A sugar pie isn’t like a carving pumpkin. It’s smaller and sweeter, and grows on beautiful sprawling vines in our garden. Sugar pie pumpkins have a firm, not-so-stringy flesh that’s great for roasting. They take on a tender, buttery texture when cooked and have a sweet, earthy, and nutty flavor. The taste is quite different from canned pumpkin, which makes the extra work to roast them so worth it. In true Frog Hollow fashion (we never shy away from a little added effort), we do just that for our Caramel Pumpkin Pie.
During the summer, the Farm Kitchen is a hustle bustle of activity. Fruit goes off the trees and right into the oven or pot. In the fall, even as fruit season has died down, busyness in the kitchen is no different. Just replace apricots with apples and peaches with pumpkins.
First we roast organic sugar pie pumpkins from our garden or from our friends at Full Belly Farm, and then stir them into caramelized sugar. As I’m sure many of you have experienced, the adage "it's as easy as pie," doesn't necessarily apply to pie-making. There's a good deal of finesse required to create a simultaneously light, flakey dough with the right tooth and structure. Chef Becky has this down and has trained our kitchen staff to create just such a crust. She uses a combination of organic butter and 100% pasture-raised leaf lard from Prather Ranch. Next, a thin layer of gingersnap cookie crumbs is nestled on top of the crust according to her secret recipe. Then, our custardy pumpkin/caramel mixture is poured in and baked. The result is a smooth and velvety delight that feels almost like pumpkin flan rather than pie.
Pumpkin pie has deep roots, but even a traditional recipe has room for a few personalized tweaks. Just think—folks in the 1600s were hollowing-out pumpkins, filling them with spiced milk, and just tossing them in the fire! Whether for your Thanksgiving table or for a fall treat, our all-real food handmade pie is a pretty delicious option.