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As we come to the end of this Thanksgiving holiday, I wanted to share a new favorite: pumpkin pie. Not so new to most but, honestly, I’ve never liked pumpkin pie. There is something about the texture and, quite frankly, the taste, that I have never cared for. I do love pumpkin bread and pumpkin cookies, though. This year we received a sugar pumpkin in our CSA share and I had plans to make my favorite pumpkin bread recipe. My oldest saw it and declared a need for pumpkin pie, something I haven’t baked or eaten in nearly ten years.

I’ve been up a lot at night lately. Not really by choice but it is what it is right now. So, I find myself looking up recipes and knitting and sewing patterns … the things I don’t have time to mindlessly look through during the day. I looked up how to bake a sugar pumpkin and then set my sights on finding a vegan pumpkin pie recipe. We used this one. It requires no sugar other than maple syrup, it has few ingredients, and it is well spiced.

I still had one hurdle left and that was actually cutting the pumpkin in half to bake it. Have you ever started cutting a pumpkin or other large squash, sunk your knife in deep, only to have it become stuck? You stand frozen at the counter wondering how many stitches it will take to fix the horrific wound that is about to occur as you extract the knife from said squash. You ponder tossing the squash and the knife only to pretend later that you have no idea what happened to the knife … perhaps you’ll pretend it got left at the last potluck or your neighbor borrowed it and then moved.

This year, though, I had a late night (or early morning) epiphany that was nothing short of a Thanksgiving miracle, or perhaps it was the Great Pumpkin answering my wish. Do you have one of those 50-cent, red-handled pumpkin carvers that looks like it won’t last for more than one Halloween but somehow hangs on year after year … half saw, half knife is how my oldest describes it. Yeah, that thing that kicks around your kitchen drawer for 364 days of the year with seemingly no purpose. It sawed that pumpkin in half in under a minute, faster than an infomercial knife through a soda can.

The de-seeded pumpkin halves baked, covered in foil, for 1.5 hours at 375. You know it is done when it is quite soft, then let it cool and scoop out the insides and discard the shell (skin? peel?). I used my food processor to smooth out the pumpkin only because it was sitting on my counter, but I’m sure a potato masher or ricer would also work. It was not very watery at this point so I was able to just use it in the recipe, substituting 1 ¾ cups of fresh pumpkin for one can of pumpkin. I made a simple Spelt crust printed on the Bob’s Red Mill bag of Spelt flour (my go-to crust recipe as it requires no butter or rolling). I topped it with my easy maple coconut frosting (which is texturally very similar to whipped cream).

We had the leftover pie for breakfast the next morning, which should be an indication of its tastiness.

I hope you all had just the Thanksgiving you were looking for, be it with family or friends or solo!

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