Welcome to The Pauley Principle!

The Pauli Principle, named for Wolfgang Pauli, deals with atoms and electron-sharing that results in new, stronger bonds. Think 2 parts hydrogen and 1 part oxygen, a shared delectable (!) electron and VOILA! Water!

Similarly, when you prepare whole food to share with family and friends, especially foods you've grown, something amazing happens. Meals become tastier and healthier. Your soul, not just your stomach, becomes fulfilled. You live life more abundantly as a result. During a shared meal, the bonds that people create grow stronger and become something new: GREATER than the sum of the parts! I give you The Pauley Principle.

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Most Improved Pie!

Pumpkin-squash pie in a buttery shell. 100% Pure YUM!!!
On Thanksgiving at our house, the pumpkin pie flew off the plates before my husband and I got a piece, save the one remaining gluten-free pie to send home with my daughter.

So I made another one the next day, got a late start on it and had to serve it piping hot from the oven right before bedtime. The pie was so hot, the whipped cream melted and oozed over the sides. Chris said he had never eaten a pie that tasted so good! (I believe anticipation is a natural flavor enhancer!) This pie is an amended version of the recipe I gave in an earlier post.

What made the pumpkin pie better than ever? The fact that it was hot? I think not. Before I started, I looked up pumpkin pie in my vintage James Beard cookbook and found that, while some folks like pumpkin for pies, others preferred squash. Butternut squash.

If possible, start your pie with fresh produce. The result will be complex and sweeter.  Like a fine wine, the taste will reach more parts of your mouth, giving a more satisfying flavor.

Here is the beautiful blended pulp from pumpkin and butternut squash.
This year, we were blessed with a patch full of butternut squash. I asked my husband's English cousin if she'd ever heard of combining both pumpkin and squash for pie. She hadn't, but I decided to give it a try. Like its sister, the pumpkin, the butternut squash cooks nicely. After making a pulp of the butternut, I found it to be sweeter, orangier (yeah, I made it up), and thicker than pumpkin. Combining the two freshly-made pulps gave us an incredibly flavorful pie! Admittedly, I used a rasp and ground the nutmeg. Then, instead of using "pumpkin pie seasoning", I used my own blend of seasonings (cinnamon, nutmeg, a little clove) and added a pinch of salt, which acts as a flavor enhancer. (You don't really need the salt if you make your palate wait. The anticipation will do the trick!) Since I used fresh, naturally-sweet butternut squash, less refined sugar is required.
Some of our family members cannot eat ginger, so I avoid it. I make up for the absence of ginger by using additional cinnamon. 

After the blended pulps, seasonings, milk, and duck eggs have been thoroughly mixed, I poured the batter into homemade, buttery pie crusts. Yes, I used real butter. All of this takes time. Lots of time, compared to picking up a pie at the baker's. Allow for the time unless you also like the idea of piping hot pumpkin pie at midnight!

 TIP: If you can't raise your own veggies, buy locally-grown fresh produce whenever you can. It's good for the local economy, it's good for the environment, and it's better for you 
and those you serve!

Any pumpkin pie tricks you'd like to share?

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