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Italian Pumpkin Pie/Zuccata
Italian Pumpkin Pie or Zuccata
Zuccata! That is what my Nona (grandmother) called it. It means pumpkin in Italian. No fancy names for the Italians, they simply called things what they were.
I usually try to simplify recipes because that is what my Hubs are supposed to be about. But, I feel it would be disrespectful to my Nona if I changed this in any way. As you can see in the pictures I am not a master at crust making and but she was, maybe because in Italy she was making pasta and baking since she was five years old. She was only 4'10" as an adult and very little as a child, so she had to stand on a box to reach the table. There was not spoiling of the children them. This is a very rustic dish that came right from her mother's kitchen in Italy.
You not only taste the creamy pumpkin, but little bites of chocolate throughout and the taste of the rum and anise is there also. It is very unique in it's flavors.
I call it Italian Pumpkin Pie for obvious reasons. In my family Thanksgiving or even the month of November wouldn't be complete without this dessert. It's a tradition in my father's side of the family. We love it and I hope you do too. It takes a little more time and a lot of ingredients but, it's once a year and so worth it. Mangiare Buono!
Tips and Suggestions
- When making crust have the Crisco or butter and milk or water cold, it makes for a flakier crust. The cold pieces of Crisco/butter between in the dough is what makes it flaky.
- Also try not to use your hands and handle it too much the warmth from your hands will melt the fat in the crust.
- Use flour to keep it from sticking to the surface where you are rolling out the dough.
Photos of How to Make Italian Pumpkin PIe
Ingredients for crust and filling
- FOR CRUST: 6 cups flour
- 1 cup Crisco, cold
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs, cold
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup milk, cold
- FOR FILLING: 2 (29oz.) cans pumpkin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 (6oz.) Hershey Bars, Broken in small pieces
- pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon cocoa
- 1 teaspoon each rum extract & Anise extract
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- 3/4 cups raisins
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- FOR CRUST: Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in another small bowl. Add the cold Crisco to the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or a fork is you don't have a pastry blender until crumbly.
- Then add the milk and eggs, again with pastry blender.
- On a floured surface, bring the dough together trying not to handle too much with your hands. If it's too dry add a couple of splashes of very cold water till it's holds together.
- Cut off a third of the dough and roll out in a thin rectangle to match the inside of your 13" x 9" pan. Place on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350 oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until golden in color.
- Leaving some dough for the top, roll out the rest of the dough and line the inside of your pan leaving some to lap over the sides.
- FOR THE FILLING: Mix all filling ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Place half the filling on the crust, place the already baked layer on top as in the picture and the rest of the filling on top of that.
- Roll out the top layer and place on top of second layer of filling and flap over the sides. Don't worry if you have to patch the dough, that is how it always looks. Brush a little milk on top of the crust for a better shine.
- Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 55 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Cool before cutting; cover and refrigerate till you are ready to serve it.