How to ruin any food: Pumpkin pie

It’s that time of fall when pumpkin pies are found in abundance. the simple pumpkin pie is something that nearly everyone has tried at some point in their lives; you might like them or you might hate them, but you have tried them I’d be willing to guess.

Tonight we’ll be looking at the history of the humble pumpkin pie and how to ruin it. I hope you’re ready for some fun!

Before we begin, once more I feel compelled to offer these words:

WARNING: DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU ENJOY GOOD FOOD.

The rest of this post in intended to be humorous and not to be taken as new culinary treats about to sweep the nation.Any attempt to ingest the substance described below is not suggested and should be avoided. If you do attempt to taste any of the following food related ideas, please be warned that disgust, nausea and possibly even death could be the result.

 

History:

The history of pumpkin pie is an interesting one. While pumpkins are native to north America, it seems that the first true pumpkin pie originated somewhere in France in the 1650s or there about. Though with anything that long  ago, it is doubtful that we will ever know just who was the first person to place a pumpkin filling into a pie crust.

Before then it is assumed that pumpkins were mostly eaten as a pudding.

If you’re interested in a few interesting facts I’d suggest these sites:

The Wikipedia page on pumpkin pies: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumpkin_pie has several interesting facts about pumpkins as well as mentioning poems and songs about pumpkin pies from the 1800s.

Another site filled with more information then you’ll ever want to read is http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/PieHistory/PumpkinPie.htm

 

What it is:

A pumpkin pie is basically a pumpkin custard baked in a pie crust. Normally made with evaporated milk, a number of variations exist, from sweetened condensed milk to honey and cream.

Typically you’ll want to serve it with whipped cream or a dollop of ice cream.

 

How to ruin:

At first glance ruining pumpkin pie seems hard to do, most people have never made one from scratch, so it can seem a bit magical. However I assure you that it is all too easy to ruin a pumpkin pie, as you will soon learn.

The pie crust:

The pie crust is the base of a pumpkin pie and the best place to begin. While good pies need a light flaky crust, we’ll want a heavy, tough, chewy crust that bends more than crumbles. So basically do everything against your crust recipe. Add extra butter, cut back on the flour and add extra water.

The filling:

A dirty little secret known to only the people who pay attention to such things is the fact that canned pumpkin isn’t really just pumpkin, it also contains regular squash!

This opens a number of ways to ruin a pumpkin pie, namely to use any kind of squash that you can find. Have a spaghetti squash? Throw it in! Have zucchini instead? That’s great, they are all squash. It’ll  just have a bit different taste and texture… which is exactly what we’re looking for here. Your pumpkin pie will turn out green if you’re lucky.

Another trick is not to add any eggs to the filling, that’ll change your pie as well.

Now we come to one more part of the filling that deserves a section to itself:

              The seasonings:

While normally you’d just use the ambiguous ‘pumpkin pie spice’ mix or put one together yourself, I have a few suggestions for you:

  • Curry powder, this will add a unique taste.
  • Chili powder, a hint of chili in your pie, mmmm.
  • Garlic and onion, is there anything these two can’t improve?
  • Cumin powder, it’ll add that spicy flavor all pies need.
  • Paprika, it’ll add a bit of color.
  • Hot chocolate mix, doesn’t chocolate improve everything?

    The topping:

Yes, the topping. While a dad of ice cream or whipped cream improves everything, we’re looking to ruin everything instead.

Onion dip, it’ll change everything about your pie and ruin it in one step.

Sour cream will also add that unique quality that doesn’t fit with pies.

If you must remain true to the normal toppings but still want something different, try onion ice cream. If you want to remain with whipped cream, add a few drops of green and blue food coloring after you finish whipping it, that should look strange enough to ruin it.

 

I think that’s enough ways of ruining pumpkin pies for tonight, though I’d love to hear your thoughts, have you ever ruined a pumpkin pie?

I hope you’ll join me again next Saturday night as I ruin another food. Thanks for reading!

 

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