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Friday, October 13, 2006

Mexican Pumpkin Pie (Calabaza Pastel)

My Father was a Damn fine Cook, he was a Cook in the Army during the Korean Conflict and in the Oklahoma National Guard for several years. In many ways he was a better Cook than My Mother and she was no slouch in a kitchen. The only problem my Father had was the older he got, the shorter his arms became (he was far-sided and could not hold things out far enough to focus on them) and one year while making the pies for Thanksgiving he mistakenly used “Cayenne” instead of “Cinnamon” in the pumpkin pies, of course we did not know it until we ate them, and we did eat both of them, they were not hot enough to burn your mouth but just enough to let you know that it was there. We liked it so much that the next year we made sure that he did it again to at least one of the pies. Peace and Good Eating.


1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish basic pie crust (see below)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 - tsp cayenne pepper (crushed red pepper)
1/2 - tsp salt
1/2 - tsp ground ginger
1/2 - tsp ground nutmeg
2 - large eggs
1 - 15 oz can Pumpkin Pie Filling
1 - 12 oz can Evaporated Milk


Preheat oven to 425°F. Prepare basic pie crust as directed (or use a ready made crust) Combine sugar, cayenne pepper, salt, ginger and nutmeg in small bowl. Beat eggs lightly in large bowl. Stir in canned pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. When mixed thoroughly, pour into pie shell. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F. bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for about 2 hours. Serve plain or with Cool Whip.

*For two shallow pies, substitute two 9-inch (2-cup volume) pie crusts. Bake in preheated 425° F. oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F. bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until pies test done.*

Basic Pie Crust

2 cups flour
2/3 cup shortening
dash salt
ice water

In a medium bowl, mix flour, shortening and salt until crumbly. Working with a small sections of the dough, begin adding water slowly, about 1 tsp at a time. Cut (mix) with a fork until pieces are about the size of peas. Push to the side and continue working through the rest of the dough until it is all incorporated the same way. (Right about here is where I toss out the whole mess and go and buy a couple of ready made crusts) Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8 inch thickness. Place in 9" pie plate and trim to within 1/2" beyond edge of the plate. Crimp around the edges because that’s the way Grandma friggin' did it!

*If using crust for a refrigerated pie (no bake) bake crust at 350° F. until golden brown, 8-10 minutes. Let cool completely before adding filling*


Anonymous nyasha said...

it just looks fantastic Chuck! Will have to try yours and Xmichra's out this fall. I just love pumpkin pie!

2:16 PM  
Blogger Chuck said...

hey nyasha - thanks for stopping by, i hope you have a good weekend.

2:29 PM  
Blogger Chef Babs said...

Chuck, I love the story behind it, that's a classic. It actually sounds like it might be a good thing, huh?

4:40 PM  
Blogger Chef Babs said...

Nyasha, it does sound good, huh?

4:41 PM  
Blogger Chuck said...

chef babs - it really is quite good , the cayenne does not overpower it at all, it just brings out the flavor with a little kick.

6:43 AM  
Blogger Chef Babs said...

chuck, I'm scared, will it be ok?

6:47 AM  

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