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My grandparents had a big pumpkin farm and fall was always my favorite time of year because of all the pies! This is my grandmother's recipe that is famous among family members. She always used a thin layer of pumpkin and tin disposable pie pans because she made so many at a time to give away- this made the pies thin and proportion of crust to filling just perfect!
- Filling: Use a pie pumpkin, not the jack-o-lantern type. These are smaller and less stringy. You will need to peel and cut the pumpkin into small pieces. I was a novice at this, so I'll share the best way I've found to keep from losing some limbs while peeling for those who have never worked with a whole pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the stem area as well as all the stringy inside and seeds. (Don't throw the seeds away- toast them for another tasty treat!) Take the two halves and place them face down on a baking sheet or 9x13 pan. Cover with tin foil and bake at 300 degrees until the pumpkin is soft enough to be pierced easily with a fork. At this point it will be easy to scoop out the inside and throw away the skin. You may want to go over it really good with a potato masher or zip it in the food processor for a moment to make it more of a puree before the next step.
- After peeling the pumpkin, combine with 1 stick butter, 2 cups sugar, and 1/2 cup water into a large sauce pot. Cook until all the water is cooked out of the pumpkin mixture. (If you don't cook most of the water out, the pumpkin will be too runny and make the pies soggy.).
- Crust: Make the crust the same way you make biscuit dough, but knead the dough a little longer to make it tougher. Roll into thin crust, place in pie pan. Dont worry at this point if the crust is too big for the pan, you'll trim it later.
- To assemble the pie: Spread a thin layer of filling onto the crust and trim the crust to just above the filling. Sprinkle with lots of cinnamon and remaining sugar (I also use Pumpkin Pie Spice) and dot with pats of butter or margarine. (My grandmother says the more pats and sprinkles, the better- and she allocated 1 cup of sugar for sprinkling and a whole stick of butter pats for 3 pies, but I didn't use quite that much.).
- Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees until crust is golden brown- time may vary from that posted but it wouldn't let me leave it blank.