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Old 10-18-2009, 12:52 PM   #1
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Default Colonial American Pumpkin "pie" with apples

Early American settlers and Elizabethan English folk found a wonderful new vegetable in the American Pumpkin. But what they called a Pomkyn Pie was very different from what we eat these days on either side of the Atlantic.

I'm sure there were a lot of versions of this as the recipe is pretty basic. I just made one for an SCA event (pre 1600's) as a "very late" period dish and it was fantastic and went over well. This would be a great Thanksgiving dish for anyone and perfect for a family with members who can't eat wheat or eggs. One reason I picked it was because we have several such people in our group.

This is fantastic and makes the whole house smell wonderful! Rather than use material still under copyright, I'll give the basic instructions but the original is from my American Wood Stove Cookery Book.

You need:

1 round or oval pumpkin that will fit in a large pan or cast iron pot
2 about 3 to 6 cooking apples
3 Honey (1 to 2 cups depending on the size of the pumpkin)
4 Raisins (1 to 2 cups) I used golden
4 Cinnamon (1 to 2 tsp)
5 Water (1 to 2 cups)
6 Large Cooking Pot or Cast Iron Cauldron with fitted lid or aluminum foil to cover

Cut top of pumpkin as if making a jacko-lantern, trim top fairly far down so pumpkin will fit in the pot after stuffing.

Remove seeds and strings from pumpkin

Either cut apples into four parts or large slices but do not peal

Mix in a bowl with the honey, raisins and cinnamon

Place top back on the pumpkin

Put pumpkin in large pot or cast iron cauldron

Pour water in around the pumpkin but not inside it

To cook on top of a wood stove, place pot on a trivet, cover and cook for about two hours

To cook in a regular oven (what I did) cook for 2 to 3 hours at a medium heat (about 325 to 350). If pumpkin is small, check after about 1 1/2 hours.

The idea is to have a complete stuffed pumpkin to pull out of the oven, not a "squish" although if it falls it will still taste good, but not look as pretty.

If the pot lid will not fit on tight, cover top of the pan with foil and place the lid on top if it will stay. If not, just use the foil and seal as well as you can.

The one I did turned out perfectly and was set on a round serving platter with the top removed for folks to spoon out the center and scrape bits off the side.

Variations: I'm sure you could vary the spices, use honey instead of Sugar (splenda might not even be too bad, though I would add at least a bit of honey for the right texture at least a tablespoon or two). Other small dried fruits would go well with raisins such as currents, prunes or even cranberries.

This is one of the best cooking experiments I've ever done for both a presentation and taste factor on the first try.

Hope you enjoy it too, let bring back this old farmstead treat which is not only healthy but easy. Even the cooking is free if you already have a wood stove for heat with enough space to put a pot on it!
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Old 10-18-2009, 01:11 PM   #2
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The French do a similar thing...fill the pumpkin with alternate layers of slices of toasted baguette that have been rubbed with a garlic clove and layers of grated swiss cheese, then pour single cream over to fill the pumpkin, then bake as per your recipe. To serve, stir the whole mess a bit and ladle out.
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Old 10-18-2009, 01:38 PM   #3
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Ooooh, that sounds good. I have a Dutch oven that needs a workout...
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Old 10-22-2009, 04:58 PM   #4
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this I think I'll try, maybe a couple smaller pie pumpkins with a variation as you suggested in each, I bet a squash would do Ok also, though not as pretty for presentation like an orange pumpkin.
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:27 PM   #5
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That sounds good but only if someone else deals with the raw pumpkin. I can't take the way it feels or smells. I'm gaging just thinking about it.
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Old 11-13-2009, 10:02 AM   #6
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That sounds loverly!!
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Old 11-22-2009, 05:07 PM   #7
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Hey,

I am going to take the Halloween punkin which is still good and give this a try.
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Old 11-26-2009, 05:56 PM   #8
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Although reading through the recipe, it looks like a step was left out. At some point you put the apples/honey/spices INTO the pumpkin, right?
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:55 PM   #9
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Yep, sorry you hollow out the pumpkin strings etc with a spoon, then dump everything inside the pumpkin then replace the top before baking.
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:34 AM   #10
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With the smaller pie pumpkins we've done something similar. Cut off the top, scoop out the guts, but leaving the meat of it. Fill with pretty much whatever you like.

The last time we did the the entree pumpkin was filled with a mix of browned pork sausage (a good hot country sausage), onions, cabbage and turnips (both shredded or finely chopped). Pack it in tight because it will shrink in the cooking. Put the pumpkin 'lid' back on and bake until the pumpkin is done.

Serving it depends on the size of the pumpkin and how soft you cooked it. If it's small enough slice the thing into wedges. If it's too big for that take the top off and scoop it out being sure to get some of the pumpkin meat with it.

Dessert was a custard cooking in two pumpkin halves. Slice a pumpkin in half around its equator. You don't want it to be really deep yet not too shallow. Scoop out the guts, but leave the meat. Fill with a custard mixture with perhaps a bit more nutmeg than usual. Bake as per usual for custard testing for doneness before removing. The pumpkin shell will keep the custard from over cooking on the bottom and sides.

.....Alan.
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