Here we are, just a few months away from planning holiday meals with friends and family. I think we all have our own special recipe for a family favorite -- pumpkin pie. But, diid you know that if you find you have forgotten to pick up some canned pumpkin or a fresh pumpkin, you can still enjoy pumpkin pie with your meal? No, I don't mean send someone out to the store to buy one from the local bakery. I mean, if you have some carrots on hand, you can make a faux pumpkin pie that is almost indistinguishable from the real thing. And, the bonus is that it's even healthier for you!
It was pie baking day at the Midtown Market and I decided to make the faux recipe and test people's reactions to it. Well, friends, it was thumbs-up all the way! I even had one lady who told me, if I had a license to sell my pies, she would have bought three on the spot. This recipe came from one of my favorite web sites, Pick Your Own, and it was super easy. I decided to make two pies, stacking them, in the solar oven but having a crust in only one pie so that folks who were allergic to wheat would be able to have a taste. By the way, the Pick Your Own site is chock-full of great substitution recipes and a great one to have bookmarked for future reference. The recipe given on the site is meant for all countries and has all the conversions etc. needed. I was Booth #3 for the voting and won't know the outcome until next Saturday.
Faux Pumpkin Pie
Three cups cooked carrots; puréed down to two cups
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 half teaspoon ground cloves
1 half teaspoon ground ginger
1 half teaspoon Mace
1 half teaspoon vanilla extract
1 half teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 can evaporated milk, 12 ounce size
Preheat solar oven to 225F. 2 nine-inch pie plates and enough of your favorite pie crust pastry to make a bottom crust in each pan. I used four of those disposable foil pie pans and binder clips in the solar oven.
Combine all ingredients, pour over pie crust; cover, and bake in solar oven for approximately 45 minutes or until pie has firmed up a bit. While pies are baking, prepare a topping of one-half cup pecans with one-eighth cup butter and one-quarter cup brown sugar in a saucepan over low to medium heat and let the butter sizzle enough to caramelize the sugar.
I've stacked the pies and had the solar oven raised on its extended leg to get the earliest sun possible in its Fall trajectory. Because I was at the Market, I had the topping mixture in a plastic bag inside a pint-sized canning jar in the EZ-3 solar oven at the left and let the topping melt at the same time, so it would be ready and easy to pour when the pie firmed up. (You can almost see the butter stick.) Then, you just sprinkle the pecan topping over the firmed up pie; cover, and finish baking. Pie is done when a clean knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
I think this may be my last day to actually cook at the Market because we close at noon and the sun has moved so far from the Spring position that it's almost 9:30 a.m. before it hits my booth, leaving almost no time for cooking and sharing samples. I think it's time to re-introduce my visitors to the beauty of the Wonder Box Cooker and heat retention cooking, don't you?
I do hope you'll give this recipe a try and discover just how delicious it is before you serve it to your guests. Then, you can see if they can tell the difference. We'd love to know what happens! Keep your fingers crossed for me and I'll let you know what happened in the pie baking contest.