David M. Raley
It is as important to follow the proceedure, both method and order of steps, as it is to have the proper ingredients. Cooking is, after all, only a specialized form of chemistry. Many unsatisfactory results can be traced to unwanted chemical reactions.
1. Locate all pumpkins and/or remnants of pumpkins, whether fresh, dried, raw, cooked, frozen or canned within 1/4 mile of your kitchen and utterly destroy it/them. The more violent and colorful the means the better.
2. After the first frost, get 12 pounds of straw-pit seasoned RED Sweet Potatoes. Preferably from a store that does not stock pumpkins in any form. The potatoes should be about 3" in diameter and 5" to 7" long without bruises or soft spots.
3. Rub the skins in lard, corn oil if you must, and bake in the middle rack of an oven set to 350 degrees for an hour and 45 minutes. A wood stove is best, gas will fool most tasters, electric is better than none. DO NOT MICRO- WAVE OR BOIL!!!
4. Peel and de-string. If you do it right you will have about five and a half pounds of pulp. More than six pounds means you didn't get out all the dross.
5. While the pulp is still hot , put it in a steel or glass bowl and mix in a half pound of salted butter or high grade margarine. Stay away from economy or "house brands". Mix for about 15 minutes with a steel masher. Don't let the potato pulp come in contact with plastic!
6. Put in three cups of sugar, one cup at a time and mix for ten minutes after adding each cup. If you have no one to help you, it would be better to get married for the purpose than to slack off on the mixing. Each ingredient should be thoroughly assimilated before the next is added.
7. Break two fresh eggs into a clean, dry glass cup. Beat with a fork until the yoke and albumin is completely mixed. Don't use either a hand nor an electric beater.
8. Mash the eggs into the pulp for fifteen minutes. By now the pulp should be free of any lumps. If not, find them and mash them on the side of the bowl, them mix for ten minutes.
9. Add 1 teaspoon of newly opened Nutmeg. If you use last year's can, add 1/4 teaspoon. Mix and mash for ten minutes.
10. Add 4 teaspoons of vanilla and mash for 20 minutes.
11. Let pulp stand while you prepare the shells. If you use store bought shells, disregard the instructions on the package except for temperature. Poke 40 or 50 randomly spaced holes in the pan. Put the shells in the oven empty and let them bake. Pull out every few minutes to poke the dough down. When the dough is crisp, take them out and fill with pulp. Return to oven until the tips of the waves in the pulp and the edge of the crust begins to burn.
Makes three deep or five shallow pies. less if you heap up the pulp.
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