Yesterday I was happy to nestle myself in the kitchen and get cozy with some pumpkin puree. Lots of pumpkin puree. I was headed to Jamie's for the evening, and since she and I used to live together, I know just how much she likes pumpkin. I missed her birthday while I was on the Grand Canyon, so a little ice cream and pie surprise sounded like a good belated birthday present.
I have found the MOST FANTASTIC recipe for pumpkin ice cream. Simply Recipe's Easy Pumpkin Pie recipe lives up to it's name - I have not found an easier ice cream recipe, nor have I found one that beats the texture and flavor of this. I love it! (Though I should add that I made my own pumpkin puree, and after doing that, I will never go back to canned... unless I move to a major metropolitan area and am forced to live without a garden for pumpkins and a chest freezer for storage. I'll post on making your own puree in the fall, but check out the pumpkin pie recipe later in this post if you happen to be in a part of the world where you can get pumpkins now and are eager to process them).
After making the ice cream batter, I put it in the fridge to chill and started on a pumpkin pie. Another Simply Recipes recipe that I adore. First though, the crust.
The thing about buying crusts at the store is that they have lard in them. Yep, lard. That's a bummer for someone trying not to eat animals. I'll save my animal-eating morals for later, but for now, it suffices to say that grocery crusts are out. Making my own crusts require psychological preparation that I didn't have time for yesterday, so.... my solution was to try a graham cracker crust.
Again, SO EASY. I googled a recipe that was something like 2 cups of crushed graham crackers, 1/3 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup butter. I'll admit my mistake was not baking the crust before putting pie batter in. It came out just fine, but I'm baking that crust next time to see if it will get a little crunchier.
My revelation came from trying to press the graham crust into the pie plate. I took a spoon and pressed and pressed and pressed and pressed and didn't feel I was making progress. That's when I nested my pie plates. That flattened the crust in a jiffy. I'm probably the last person in the world to figure that out, but just in case there's another pie-crust newbie out there, I'm sharing. (and, I didn't have anything else to take pictures of.)