Monday, October 03, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Season


The air has changed in these parts. The balmy heat has been replaced with the cool days Fall brings. We will have a few more warm Southern days before our winter really sets in but those constantly hot humid days are behind us. It's at this point that I really begin to feel the settling back into my kitchen deep within me. I am ready to cook longer with pleasure. Those hot Summer days often found me fleeing from the kitchen to avoid the heat. I'm glad to come back to the heart of my home. To fill up my days with roasting, simmering, braising, and baking. The baking is of course the family favorite.

Once October arrives so do the pumpkin pies. I have been a tad behind schedule with the official opening of Fall Pie Season. As you know, pie season is year round in our home, but we do bake certain pies during certain seasons. I bring out our savory pies, hearty pies, filling pies. Long have the days of fresh picked fruit passed us leaving behind memories of those fun warm days spent on the farm. I look forward to the cold weather pies my oven will bake. Our tried and true pumpkin pie will grace our table for weeks and weeks. Our champion pumpkin pie eater, Keith, will gently and often not so gently ask for some of that pie. Whereas making a pumpkin pie is easy considering the wonder of canned pumpkin I prefer pie straight from the pumpkin. Those pies made from a fresh picked pie pumpkin are hands down, face in your plate, pie eating contest good pie.

As the cool days of October slide in and settle into our Virginia I'll begin to seek out a decent stash of pie pumpkins. My week will be filled with collecting pumpkins. Thankfully our area farmers are great at providing the best local pie pumpkins. I almost look insane with my desire to buy pumpkins, but they just do not know the obsession of pumpkin pie in our home. As I gather pumpkin after pumpkin I am eagerly thinking about how they will soon be roasting in my oven to become the golden puree of our favorite Fall pie. Now, don't think that pie is the only place where those little sugars will go. No, sir, no, no, no, not just pie. I do fancy a pumpkin stew and shhhh, take a breath, a pumpkin jelly roll. That latter dessert is almost rivaling my pie. I need to make several of those jellyrolls to freeze away in the depths of our freezer while I can so that come Easter our tummies will be enjoying the deliciousness of those pumpkins. Roasting, pureeing, freezing, thawing and baking will be my activities this month. I usually make a large batch of pie filling to freeze. The frozen filling makes a quick pumpkin pie on days where we REALLY need some pie in our lives.

Warming our home with baked wonders makes me happy. I love the feel of pie dough being squished between my hands. The gentle rolling required to shape the dough for my pie pans. Providing a little something sweet for the people I love from whole basic ingredients is so fulfilling. I can't wait to get started!


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