Brown sugar and spice and everything pumpkin
Liz Bearwald, owner of the Bent Fork Bakery in Highwood, shows how she makes a pumpkin pie. Bearwald is planning on providing 550 of the pies for the Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival. | Rob Dicker~Sun-Times Media
Bent Fork Pumpkin Pie
(From Liz Bearwald)
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon, ground
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ginger, ground
¼ teaspoon cloves, ground
2 large eggs
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1 9-inch deep pie shell, unbaked
Mix dry ingredients in small bowl. Beat eggs lightly in mixer, add sugars and spices; then pumpkin (all on low); then pour in milk. Pour in pie shell, bake on cookie sheet at 425 degrees for 12 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 40-45 more minutes until set.
Updated: November 8, 2012 9:16AM
Good grief, Charlie Brown. Your 46-year-old holiday television special, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” is facing more and more competition.
This Halloween, HGTV will broadcast “Pumpkin Wars,” featuring a battle between the cities of Highwood, Ill. and Keene, N.H. The show will air at 7 p.m. Oct. 31.
Contests highlighted in the show will be part of The Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival in Highwood Oct. 18-20. Competitions will include a Guinness World Record effort for the most lit jack-o-lanterns in one location (about 32,000 pumpkins are required) and a record for the most people simultaneously carving pumpkins (current record: 965).
In front of The Bent Fork Bakery, a bid for the longest line of pumpkin pies is set for 6:30 p.m. Oct. 18. A Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest will follow at 7 p.m. More than 600 pumpkin pies are required to break the Guinness record Randall D. Fox triumphed in Atlanta in 2009 when he lined up pies extending 530 feet, 8 inches. The public may donate pumpkin pies for the Highwood team by delivering them to The Bent Fork Bakery, 333 Waukegan Ave., Highwood. Bakers there are making about 550 pies.
“I’ve been training for this very day my whole life — every Thanksgiving here we make 375 to 400 pies,” said Bent Fork Bakery owner Liz Bearwald.
Bearwald tweaks a traditional pumpkin pie recipe, adding a little brown sugar to the batter. When the pie bakes, the brown sugar creates “a bit of a crust on top.” She also uses brown sugar to whip the cream topping. “I love anything you can put whipped cream on!” she said.
Other Highwood restaurants are on board with the fest. The Tap House Grill chef/owner Mark Grimes has developed new pumpkin recipes that will be on his menu throughout October. He roasts pumpkin for most of those, dicing it and putting it in a 450 degree oven with olive oil, fresh thyme leaves, a little organic honey, kosher salt and black pepper until it is tender and “has some nice color.”
Grimes purees some of the roasted pumpkin to use in recipes like his shrimp and pumpkin bruschetta. He mixes roasted pumpkin puree with soft herb cheese to spread on house-made crispy flatbread. The bruschetta is served with a baby arugula and roasted pumpkin salad tossed in light vinaigrette dressing and topped with toasted pumpkin seeds.
Grimes mixes roasted pumpkin puree with Parmesan cream sauce, cavatappi pasta, roasted chicken, bacon and diced, roasted pumpkin to make Roast Pumpkin Mac and Cheese. “The pumpkin adds a sweet, carrot-like flavor,” he said.
More uses for pumpkin will be demonstrated at the Kohler Food & Wine Experience in Kohler, Wis. on Oct. 18-21. Sixteen chefs, including Chicagoans Tony Mantuano and Andrew Zimmerman, will participate.
Food Network star Anne Burrell will be one of those, demonstrating recipes like her Whole-Wheat Pappardelle with Roasted Butternut Squash, Broccoli Rabe & Pumpkin Seeds. “Pumpkin seeds add an unexpected, delightful crunch and nuttiness to dishes, and I love anything nutty! Perfect for fall,” she said. “Toss them in the oven and don’t burn them; best to use a timer.”
Too busy to visit the pumpkin patch? Well don’t tell Linus, but Burelle suggested pumpkin oil in place of seeds when necessary. “It is great finishing oil that adds a lovely color and flavor to any fall dish,” she said.
Whichever superstar chefs come out for the season, whatever new recipe they tout, rest assured, Charlie Brown, no one will ever have pumpkins cornered quite like you.