This year was slightly different from past ones...we started a bit earlier, eating at 5. This allowed our friends who lingered (ie, those of us who wanted to keep drinking wine and watch videos) to go for round 2 at about 10pm.
I have always relied on cans of Libby's Pumpkin Pie puree to help me make the pies, and this year I brought back a big can of it from the US. I thought it was so big as to make two pies, but instead it was just all ingredients for one pie in a big can. So I had a bit of a panic and thought I'd challenge myself to make one by scratch.
I did some googling and decided on this recipe from what looks like a now-defunct online mag about all things Iowa. I liked the simplicity of it and the ingredient that gives it a bit of a kick: bourbon! I also found it rather fitting that it was by a chef at a restaurant in Iowa City called Devotay that I used to walk by daily during my junior year at college when I lived on Linn Street. It was too posh for college students, but I did like to glance at the menu once in awhile.
As it turns out, it's a recipe I can highly recommend. We served the pies up as a taste test and the 'from scratch' version was the crowd favouite, which I will attribute to less preservatives/chemicals and things in my recipe. It was lighter and maybe a tad sweeter. Much more labor intensive tho -- cutting up a pumpkin is hard work.
This year's meal:
The pumpkin becomes puree
About to get to work