By Erin Walgamuth
Happy Halloween everyone! I hope you have had a wonderful weekend.
As I write to you today I am looking forward to rain and some pumpkin pie to usher in the spooky holiday. My family’s most favorite pie, hands down, is pumpkin. Luckily for me it’s my favorite too. When I was growing up, eating homemade pumpkin pie on Halloween was a tradition. So, I started the same tradition for my children when they were small and it continues to this day. I have to say that I just can’t bringmyself to purchase a pumpkin pie from the market. I find them tasteless and with a very strange texture.
I put extra spices in and on my pies which, in my opinion, makes them even better. Besides it’s cost effective to make it yourself as you can use all of the ingredients, with the exception of the pumpkin and the evaporated milk, to make other dishes!
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Both my parents cooked, but my dad was the pastry maker. I learned to make pastry from him when I was about 10 years old. I still use my old fashioned pastry blender from time to time, but I have to say “Yippee” for the invention of the food processor as it makes the job so much easier. Please use your favorite pastry recipe or purchase your favorite pre-made pastry.
I have used Libby’s canned pumpkin for as long as I can remember. I love the texture and the consistency. I have made pumpkin pie from a fresh pumpkin too, but it was a lot of work and I really like the convenience and consistency of canned. Did you know that Libby’s actually invented its own custom pumpkin? Yes indeed, it’s called the Libby’s Select Dickinson Pumpkin. Apparently it is closer to a Butternut Squash in color, but is meatier than a carving pumpkin. Anyway, it makes a great pie. Here is my version of the classic Libby’s pumpkin pie. I hope you like it.
Erin’s Pumpkin Pie
Makes a 9 “ pie
Prep time is about 10 minutes for the filling
Bake time is 45-65 minutes, depending on your oven
Follow the Libby’s pumpkin pie recipe, but use these ingredient amounts and add the vanilla.
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling on top of the pie
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
½ teaspoon of ground cloves, plus more for sprinkling on top of the pie
1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg, plus more for sprinkling on top of the pie
1 teaspoon of vanilla
I whisk the pumpkin, sugar, salt, vanilla and the above spices together before I add the rest of the ingredients, as this makes it easier to completely incorporate the spices. Then I whisk in the eggs, one at a time. Whisk in the evaporated milk until well combined. Pour into the pie shell and sprinkle with the cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Follow the baking directions.
After you have filled the pie crust with the pumpkin mixture, sprinkle two pinches of cinnamon, two pinches of cloves and two pinches of nutmeg evenly over the pie filling. This will give the pie a lovely, fragrant spicy smell and taste.
Erin Walgamuth  has been an assistant Food Stylist for television and print for the past 26 years and writes this column using her own recipes. Check out her other creations in our Hometown Recipe  section.
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