Pumpkin Pie Filling:
2 cups mashed, cooked pie pumpkin
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening
1/2 cup cold water

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Halve pumpkin and scoop out seeds and stringy portions. Cut pumpkin into chunks. In saucepan over medium heat, in 1 inch of boiling water, heat the pumpkin to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until tender. Drain, cool and remove the peel.
3. Return pumpkin to the saucepan and mash with a potato masher. Drain well.
4. Prepare pie crusts by mixing together the flour and salt. Cut shortening into the flour; add 1 tablespoon water to mixture at a time. Mix dough and repeat until dough is moist enough to hold together.
5. With lightly floured hands, shape dough into a ball. On a lightly floured board roll dough out to 1/8 inch thickness. With a sharp knife, cut dough 1 1/2 inch larger than the upside down 8 – to 9- inch pie pan. Gently roll the dough around the rolling pin and transfer it right side up on to the pie pan. Unroll and ease dough into the bottom of the pie pan.
6. In a large bowl with mixer speed on medium, beat pumpkin with evaporated milk, eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Mix well. Pour into a prepared crust. Bake 40 minutes or until when a knife is inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean.
Recipe courtesy of www.allrecipes.com

Dress It Up:
Whipped cream, cinnamon, nutmeg or ice cream

How they stack up:

Jeannine’s Bakery – Inside Gelson’s Market ******
3305 State St.
Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 569-3222

Jeannine’s Bakery is renowned for its assortment of delicious pastries, muffins, cakes, pies and other baked goods. With this in mind, it is no wonder that the establishment’s homemade pumpkin pie is the best in the business. At around $4 per slice and $20 for an entire pie, Jeannine’s also boasts fair and honest prices for the seasonal treat. The pie is bold in flavor and rather sweet, with the nuances of allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon clearly making their presences known in every mouthful. While the crust was not as flaky as Andersen’s, that was the only fault of the nearly perfect pie. If you’re looking for a combination of price and taste, I would by far recommend Jeannine’s Bakery for your holiday desserts.

Andersen’s Danish Restaurant & Bakery ****
1106 State St.
Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 962-5085

Resembling a well manicured tea room, the inside of Andersen’s Bakery is filled to the brim with scents of pastries, cookies and an
assortment of pies. Aesthetically, Andersen’s Bakery had the best pie, as they topped their freshly baked pumpkin pies with whipped cream, sprinkles of cinnamon as wells as an entire cinnamon stick for added effect. The pie itself was extremely satisfying but lacked the intensity of flavor that Jeannine’s pie had. The sugar and spice were certainly toned down, which may be perfect for those who shy away from ultra-sweet desserts. The bakery offers a great deal for the delicacy, with a piece of pie costing about $7, and an entire pie running for about $13. Coming in just a notch lower than Jeannine’s pie, Andersen’s Bakery still performs and can certainly fulfill any craving for a well made pumpkin pie.

Cody’s Café **
4898 Hollister Ave.
Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 683-5141

Cody’s Café is well known for its ability to prepare a satisfying and dynamic breakfast platter. It’s no surprise that its pumpkin pie is less than perfect. Upon ordering the dessert, I was informed that the pie needed a couple minutes. I was ecstatic! Of course, I said, anything to get a fresh pie straight out of the oven. To my dismay, it turns out the pie needed a few minutes to defrost. To be fair, the café orders its pies from a local bakery, but the pie’s lack of freshness and blandness of taste spoke for itself. The pie certainly wasn’t bad per se, but it was a pie that you ordered because you were desperate for pumpkin pie, not one that could stand on its own without the existence of an intense craving. For the most part, I would advise trying one of the two previous establishments if you are looking for a spectacular pumpkin pie.

Tuttini, Northstar Coffee Company (downtown Santa Barbara) and Anna’s Bakery (Goleta) may not carry pumpkin pie at the moment, but the trio does offer an exciting assortment of seasonal treats. Tuttini is selling a collection of meticulously crafted haunted houses for $45 a piece, while Northstar Coffee Company and Anna’s Bakery use pumpkin flavors in creative ways to usher in the season. Northstar Coffee Company boasts a frothy pumpkin latte that is the epitome of sugar and spice and Anna’s frosted ghost and goblin cookies take festivity to a whole other delectable level.

Pumpkin patches in the area:

As with any other culinary venture, it makes a profound difference in a finished product when the freshest ingredients possible are used. Organic, locally grown and fresh pie pumpkins and butternut squashes can be found at patches and grocers located in the greater Santa Barbara area. Below is an extensive list of these establishments to ease your pursuit of the perfect pumpkin for your pie.

Big Wave Dave’s Christmas Trees and Pumpkin Patches
251 S Hope Ave.
Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 218-0282

Lane Family Farms
Corner of Hollister Avenue and Walnut Lane
Phone: (805) 964-3773

Local markets:

Whole Foods
3761 State St.
Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 837-6959
Hours: Monday – Sunday 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

3305 State St.
Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 687-5810
Hours: Monday – Sunday 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Trader Joe’s (closest to UCSB campus)
3025 De La Vina St.
Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 563-7383
Hours: Monday – Sunday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Isla Vista Co-op
6575 Seville Rd.
Isla Vista
Phone: (805) 968-1401
Hours: Monday – Sunday 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.