Homemade Pumpkin Pie with Coconut Frosting

Pumpkin Pie

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There’s nothing better than homemade pumpkin puree. Not only does it taste similar to mother’s empanadas, but knowing exactly what goes into the preparation of my food is priceless. Now, I know –  it’s only September. But the stores are stocking their shelves with Christmas decorations and so I thought I’d jump on the holiday season bandwagon. What I love about this pie (and other desserts in general) is that both, the puree and the frosting, are not overly sweet – a quality I can appreciate! With that said, as you read the ingredients you might think “Wow, for a not so sweet dessert, it sure does call for a lot of sugar.” I know. So imagine how much sugar is added to the store bought pumpkin pie? Something to think about. Not that I should be preaching on high sugar content foods. After all, I do tend to indulge in other not-so-healthy delicatessens – hence this blog. But everything in moderation, right? But enough jibber jabber. Let’s get cooking!

Pie crust Ingredients:

1 box graham cookie crumbles, unsweetened

3/4 cup butter, room temperature

3/4 cup brown sugar

Filling:

1 medium pumpkin (to yield approx. 5 cups of puree)

4 eggs

1/4 cup evaporated milk

4 small piloncillos or 2 cups brown sugar (keep extra on hand in case you prefer a sweeter filling)

2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice seasoning (adjust according to preferance)

Coconut Frosting Ingredients:

3 cans, whole unsweetened coconut milk

1 tbsp. powder sugar

Topping:

1 cup shredded, sweetened coconut

Note: You will need to refrigerate coconut milk cans 12-24 hours prior to making the frosting.

Crust:

Mix all ingredients. Place crust mixture in a 9 inch pan and press along the bottom and up to the sides evenly.

Pumpkin Puree:

– Cut the top portion of the pumpkin, the area around the stem. Cover the pumpkin in foil paper and bake at 400 degrees for approx. 1  to 1 1/2 hrs or until the “meat” of the pumpkin is soft.  Set pumpkin aside and allow to cool. Scoop out the meat and place in a large pot.

– With the help of a potato masher, mash pumpkin. Turn heat on to medium and add piloncillos or brown sugar and pumpkin pie seasoning. Adjust sugar and spices according to your preference. Remember that you will be adding milk and eggs later so it will take some of the sweetness away.

– Once the piloncillos or brown sugar have been incorporated, turn heat off and pour puree into a mixing bowl. Allow to cool.

– Once the puree has cooled, add eggs and condensed milk. Mix well. Transfer mixture onto the graham cookie crust. Cover with foil paper and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hr or until the filling solidifies. Check by introducing a fork into the center and it should come out semi-clean without disrupting the rest of the pie.

– Remove  pie and allow it to cool at room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 8-12 hours before serving. Make the frosting before serving the pie for a fluffier texture. If not, you can make the frosting as it is cooling out of the oven. Layer the frosting, sprinkle it with toasted coconut and refrigerate. It’s up to you.

Frosting:

Do not mix the cans after taking them out of the refrigerator. A thick, velvety texture forms at the top of each can and this is the only part you will need for the frosting.

Carefully open the can and with a spoon, gently scoop out the top, thick and velvety layer that forms at the top. Do this with all three cans and place mixture in a clean mixing bowl. Add powder sugar and whip until fluffy.

(Refrigerate the remaining milk for future use in soups and shakes!)

Coconut Topping:

In a small pan, add coconut flakes and toast under medium heat tossing constantly as it may burn quickly. Once you get a nice, caramel color on most flakes, turn heat off and transfer onto a plate and allow to cool.

Enjoy!

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