Aside from the heart-shaped, chocolate-covered, painstakingly crafted coconut macaroons with tassled toothpick “arrows” through them, I haven’t done much themed baking. But, the time seemed right to be Hallowe’en-y, especially since I have people to impress. I decided on pumpkin pie with dyed filling, with gum eyeballs sticking out. However, I couldn’t find eyeballs, sadly, so I went with the old gummi-worms-crawling-out-of-dirt routine., i.e., chocolate wafer cookie crumbs.
Normally I’d try to make it from scratch, however two second-hand sources (one of whom is pretty organic and natural foods-y) have informed me that from-scratch (i.e. fresh pumpkin carved and hollowed out on site) isn’t all that different or better, not for the extra effort, anyway. The only real benefit I can see is maybe smugness or a superiority complex. Besides, you can get canned pure pumpkin with nothing added. I grabbed this one from the label of the can, because why not, but altered the amount of sugar (as usual) and upped the spices a little.
Two uncooked pie shells
Filling (this makes two 9″ pies, the filling is also sold at 15 oz. size, everything is halved):
1/2 c granulated or superfine sugar
1/2 c + 1 generous pinch brown sugar
cinnamon, ginger, cloves (in descending order of precedence)
29 oz. puréed pumpkin (plain, NOT the mix)
2 12-oz. cans evaporated milk
green food coloring (or whatever odd color you like)
one 2-3-cup bowl, one 3-5-quart bowl
Mix/whisk together sugar, salt, and spices the small bowl. In the large, beat the eggs well, then stir in pumpkin and sugar/spice/salt mix. Then, stir in evaporated milk, one can at a time. Since it’s so thin, I whisk rather than stir, but then, I always like to whisk. I doubt it makes a different when it’s added. I added about 30-40 drops of green coloring, a few yellow and blue here and there, the result being:
I poured four cups into one shell, then refrigerated the other four. It wasn’t as dark as I would have liked, but don’t overdo the color, as baking at 425º for 15 minutes, then at 350º for 40-45 minute will congeal and concentrate the filling, and consequently the color. To wit:
After giving the pies two hours to cool, the dirt and worms were added. For the dirt, I bought a whole package of chocolate sandwich cookies (brand irrelevant), split them, scraped off the filling, and crushed the cookies. Fortunately for me, I noticed the “crumb” setting on my blender, and did it like that instead of crushing them with blunt force, as I initially did. I saved myself a bit of physical effort and mental anguish, no doubt. Then designed as desired.
I probably shouldn’t have omitted so much sugar, it could’ve been sweeter. I took out about 1/3 c or more, I probably should have been only 1/4 c. Rats. I forgot to snap these before digging the fork in. But then, it shouldn’t look pristine and clean-cut, it should be a mess.
Yikes, what a mess. All the better….