Pumpkin PIe in the Oven

In my rush to complete my pies, I forgot to take any photos, so enjoy the only picture I took of my pies baking in the oven.

A couple months ago I was scrolling through TikTok when I came across a video of somebody making a pumpkin pie.

“Wow, that actually seems pretty easy,” I thought to myself. So, I saved the video and planned to make a pumpkin pie at some point. A few weeks go by, and I had forgotten all about my plans to make a pumpkin pie until I came across another video of somebody making pumpkin puree from scratch — reigniting my desire to try to make this pie.

I figured since I was going to see family on Halloween, I’d make it the Friday or Saturday before and bring it over. As Halloween got closer, I consulted a few recipes online on how to make a proper pumpkin pie filling and went to the store to pick up some heavy cream, white and brown sugar, some vanilla extract and, of course, pumpkins, and visited my mom to get some fresh eggs from her chickens. I also had picked up this pumpkin pie spice seasoning blend with cinnamon, cloves, allspice, ginger and nutmeg a few weeks prior, so all I needed now were the crusts.

I really wanted to use a graham cracker crust on this, mostly because I saw some at the Dollar General near my apartment a few days before and loved the idea of graham cracker and pumpkin pie. I tried to find the ones I saw at the Dollar General when it came time to make the pie, but they were sold out. (If you read my apple pie column, you know why I was looking for pre-made crusts.)

After striking out at Dollar General, I went to Walmart the next day to find what I was looking for and picked up a couple nine-inch graham cracker crusts. While I was there, I saw six-packs of these mini pie crusts, and decided to buy three of them to bring some pie to my colleagues at the office. I am not proud to say that it took me probably thirty minutes to decide which crust to get, so if you saw somebody standing in the pie crust aisle at Walmart for an ungodly amount of time last month, it was probably me.

For the next few days, the supplies were ready to go and sitting on my counter — further building my anticipation every time I walked into the kitchen, excited as I was to make this pie.

It was maybe a bit unhealthy. My girlfriend mentioned how many times a day I’d randomly say I’m excited to make the pies or that I was nervous they wouldn’t turn out well. It was a needed reality check, as it’s just pie and not that serious.

Eventually, Friday came and I decided to make the small pies to bring to the office.

I was off that day, but my dog had a veterinarian appointment (don’t worry, he’s fine!) that I thought was at 4 p.m., so I planned to drop by the office before his appointment and let him meet my coworkers and hand out the pies.

Unfortunately, I didn’t wake up until like 11 a.m. and soon realized his appointment was actually at 2:30 p.m. It was also in Jonesborough, so it threw my day for a loop. I decided to start gutting and roasting the pumpkins immediately to make the pie filling. I had the pie filling pretty much done before I had to leave to bring Murphy to the vet, but knew it’d be a race to finish the pies when I got home and get them to the office before everyone left at 5 p.m.

When I got home, I got to work pre-heating the oven and filling the pie crusts. Thankfully, my girlfriend helped me out and we got all the crusts filled up — all 18 of them — and let them bake for about 20 minutes.

There were some stressful moments where it didn’t look like the filling was heating up, and a few got burnt, but in the end the majority of them came out pretty dang close to perfect, in my opinion. Then, I checked the time and realized it was already past 4 p.m., and the pies still needed time to cool as much as possible. I decided I’d wait until about 4:40 p.m. and then head to the office.

I got the office with about 10 minutes to spare, grabbed Murphy and the tray of pies and tried to make my way to the door. One of my coworkers was actually leaving as I was coming in, so I gave them a pie — and nearly dropped all of them when Murphy’s leash almost ripped the tray out of my hands. Fortunately, that was the only hiccup and I was able to give everyone a mini pie and let Murphy get plenty of attention and pets — a win for me, and a bigger win for him.

On Halloween, I baked the other two pies and brought them to our get-together where everyone seemed to enjoy them — or at least cared enough to lie to me.

Personally, I thought the pies came out great. I wasn’t the biggest pumpkin pie fan before, but I certainly am now. Is it better than the apple pie though? I’m not sure — it feels like asking a parent to pick a favorite child.

I’d probably say yes, it is, but if you throw some vanilla ice cream on the apple pie it’s a different story.

TikTok taste test returns next month, and we’re testing out viral soup and stew recipes. I’ve already made a French onion soup from scratch, and I can’t wait to try the other recipes I have saved, including a vegetarian “beef” stew, a potato soup, tomato soup and a broccoli and cheddar soup. As always, if you’ve got any recipe suggestions, feel free to email me at jroberts@johnsoncitypress.com or reach out to me on social media at @RobertsJCPress. FOR THE LATEST BREAKING NEWS AND UPDATES, DOWNLOAD THE JOHNSON CITY PRESS APP

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