Awwww, look how idyllic.
A funny thing happened on the way to living in Rome permanently…
I realized that all the pre-packaged things I used to use to prepare foods in the US aren’t really necessary!
I know, it boggles the mind.
Seriously though. My experience with pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving consisted of my intimate relationship with a woman known simply as “Mrs. Smith.”
Have you ever heard of her? She is really cold in the beginning, but once you get to know her, and once you let her warm up in your oven for an hour or so, that’s when she gets really sweet.
Oh my God…what in the world is “pre-baked”? You mean we’re too lazy to even BAKE our own pies anymore? Oh dear.
So here’s the thing. You’re never going to believe this. Or, maybe you will. Point being, I hadn’t ever made a real pumpkin pie before.
And if your experience of making a “real” pumpkin pie involves a woman named Libby, then, I’m not talking about that, either.
I really like how the main selling point here is “100% PURE” — frankly, any alternative to 100% PURE is just a *wee* bit disturbing…
No. What I mean by making a pumpkin pie is hard core, straight up, real-deal PUMPKIN. As in, the round gourd which emerges from the ground and is often used in a pagan festival commonly known as “All Hallows Eve.”
And yet, as fate would have it, on a box of Ferrero Cacao Amaro (that’s baking cocoa to you), on the back of the box, there it was: TORTA CACAO E ZUCCA.
What’s this? Pumpkin Pie with Cocoa Powder? Why, that sounds quite intriguing if I do say so myself.
Just for you, as a special gift on Thanksgiving–the holiday that rips my heart apart every year because it’s the only holiday I truly miss while living here in Italy–I give you:
Torta Cacao e Zucca VERSIONE IN INGLESE
I’m telling you. Chocolate Pumpkin Pie? Sheer genius. The Italians do know what they’re doing in the kitchen, after all. I bought pre-made pie crust for this recipe but if you’re feeling very Mrs. Smith-ish, you could even make your own pie crust!
This is exactly how it was written on the box:
Clean and cut a 1 kg (2.2 lb) pumpkin and boil it for 20 minutes. Drain and put it in the oven at 100 degrees C (212 degrees F) for 20 minutes. Mash the pumpkin pulp and mix it with 2 eggs, 90 g (about 1/3 cup) whipping cream, 75 g (2/3 cup) sugar, 40 g (1/3 cup) flour, 20 g (1/4 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder, a pinch of salt and the grated peel of half a lemon. Put the pie crust in a greased pie dish. Pour the mix in the pie dish and top with criss-crossed strips of pie crust dough. Cook in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Let cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Ok folks, the recipe is good, I think. But I added a few modifications. For one thing, why not sprinkle some cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar on the pumpkin before you put it in the oven?
Well, that’s about it. I couldn’t write a Thanksgiving post, however, without sending a special shout-out and tribute to my family’s tradition of watching Planes, Trains and Automobiles on Thanksgiving every year for as long as I can remember. So much fun with the whole extended clan gathered in the living room, saying the lines before they even get spoken and hooting and howling with laughter every time, as if it’s the first time we’ve ever seen the movie. God bless. The hardest part is going to be choosing which clip to share.
Another side commment on life in Italy: why must they always change movie titles to something so ridiculous or so far from the original title that you have no idea what the original title in English was? Perfect example. Planes, Trains and Automobiles was renamed “Un Biglietto in Due” in italian, which is like saying “A Ticket for Two” or something like that. Why? Would it have been so hard to simply translate these three common modes of transport? Would the Italian public have been perplexed? I don’t know. In any case…
THANKFUL FOR EVERYTHING.