Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and I have noticed a serious lack of actual traditional pumpkin pie recipes out there. I mean there is a whole lot of everything else pumpkin – just not pie. For this pie, I roasted my own pumpkin in the crockpot. You can use canned pumpkin if you want, but I find that home roasted is better, and with this crockpot version, it is super easy. We are talking limited cutting of hard raw pumpkin and super easy seed removal. And, you know pumpkin pie is not really all that bad for you. There isn’t even any butter in the filling. And, you can make it sugar-free if you really want to. In fact, the one in the photo is mostly sugar-free.
For the pumpkin, you are going to need a pie pumpkin that is about 3 1/2 pounds. You can use two if you can’t find one large enough, but I would go bigger rather than smaller because you need 3 1/2 cups cooked pumpkin. Now, when picking your pumpkin, you need to look for shorter and fatter so that i will fit in your crockpot. I have the largest size, and my pumpkin fit inside with the lid on after I cut the stem off. I just cut straight across the top to remove the stem taking about 1/2 inch of pumpkin with it. Put about 1/4 inch of water in the bottom of the pot and place the pumpkin cut side down in the pot. Cook on low for about 5 hours or until very tender. Take the top off and allow to cool a bit before you take it out. And, here is what you get:
and then just scoop the seeds our with a spoon. The pumpkin will be so super soft that this really not any work. I got mine out in just four easy scoops. You are going to puree this as you make the pie, but if you are using it for something else, scrape the flesh from the skin. put it in the food processor, and blend it until smooth. To measure it for the pie, I scraped and then pressed the flesh into my measuring cup and measured before I pureed. It might be a little less after the puree, but not most. You will see that it is super soft and easy to mash already.
Now, about the sugar-free version. The consistency of pumpkin pie is largely due to the eggs instead of sugar. Unlike cake, it doesn’t turn out dry and crumbly if you don’t add sugar. So, you can easily use an equally sweet amount of other sweetener. You can even purchase most sweeteners are made to substitute cup-for-cup. I used surcalose instead of the sugar in this version and did use the granulated type that measures the same as sugar. I think stevia comes this way too, if you want to go more natural. We have our reasons for using the sucralose instead, and I really can’t recommend eating desserts (sugar-full or sugar-free) regularly anyway. But, with both Steve and my dad being diabetics, it is nice to have a sugar-free alternative for special days. I say this one is mostly sugar-free because I left the honey in because I find that completely sugar-free tastes a little flat, but if you want to leave it out, I think it would still work well. Keeping in mind that I have not actually done this, I would add an extra two tablespoons of cream to make up for the loss of moisture from leaving the honey out.
Pumpkin Pie with Sugar-Free Option
- 1 deep dish pie crust (your favorite or store bought)
- 3 1/2 cups cooked mashed pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup sugar (or granulated sucralose or other sweetener)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Place crust in a deep dish pie plate.
- Place pumpkin in the bowl of a food processor. Process until completely smooth.
- Add remaining ingredients and process briefly until all is mixed together.
- Pour over crust.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 40 to 50 minutes longer or until set. My crust was getting very brown, so I shielded it with foil after the first 30 minutes.
- Allow to cool until pie plate is touchable. Refrigerate until cold (1 1/2 to 2 hours).