Pumpkin Pie - Three Ways
The Thanksgiving "to do" list is often so long we might feel as if, for one day at least, we are working in a professional kitchen. For most people, the Thanksgiving centerpiece around which everything revolves is the turkey. For many people, though, the crowning glory to a bountiful Thanksgiving feast is the pumpkin pie. Since time is at a premium on Thanksgiving, here are three levels of pumpkin pie you can serve this holiday:
- I Need To Make This Quick Pumpkin Pie
- Who Needs To Make A Crust - Give Me Some Filling Pumpkin Pie
- I'll Make It From Scratch Pumpkin Pie
"I Need To Make This Quick" Pumpkin Pie
Dress up a store bought pie: whip some cream or crÃ¨me fraiche with brown sugar or maple syrup, a pinch of salt and a little pumpkin pie spice; buy some candied pecans (or make your own, but we're trying to save time, here), chop them and sprinkle them over the pie. Gently warm some store bought egg nog and glaze your plates with it. It'll be like serving a nutmeg-spiced crÃ¨me Anglaise with your pie.
"Who Needs To Make A Crust - Give Me Some Fillin' Pumpkin Pie
If you don't want the hassle of making it, there are some very good commercially produced pie crusts out there. Get the kind that you have to fit into your pie pan, not the kind already in a pan. Line the crust with some plastic wrap, fill it with beans, and blind bake it for 10 minutes.
Carefully remove the wrap and the beans and bake for 10 more minutes before adding the filling. The plastic wrap will not melt in the oven, so don't worry. Just make sure that it is not touching the edge of the metal pie plate, because it will melt if it's in direct contact with metal.
Use the recipe on the side of the Libby's can. It has been around for years and years and has been perfected for this application. This is the traditional pumpkin pie served at many Thanksgiving dinners. Here are just a couple of modifications you can try, if you have the time or the inclination.
- Let the filling mixture sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before pouring and baking. The rest makes for a more creamy end product.
- Lose the clove--it's a flavor that can overpower the delicate pumpkin. Replace it with up to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, or just leave it out entirely.
- Increase the salt by half, from 1/2 teaspoon to 3/4 teaspoons. The additional salt will highlight the pumpkin flavor.
I hope these ideas inspire you to make the very most out of your pumpkin pie, no matter how much time you have!
Pumpkin Pie Recipe - Three Speeds
|Prep Time: 1 hr
||Cook Time: 1 hr plus
||Total Time: 2 hrs
How To Make At Home:
- For the Spiced Pate Brisee
- 2 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 t. salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of ground ginger
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, cold
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup ice cold water
- For the Rich Pumpkin Pie Filling
- 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
- 1 15 oz. can of pumpkin
- 10 oz. heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of cinnamon and ground ginger
For the Spiced Pate Brisee
Combine flour, salt, sugar and spices in the bowl of your food processor. Cut the cold butter into 1" chunks and process until it looks like coarse meal"a few pea-sized pieces of butter is just fine, too.
With the processor on, add 1/4 cup of ice water slowly through the feed tube. Process just until the mixture holds together when pinched (even though it still might look crumbly"if it passes the pinch test, you're done). Add a bit more water if necessary. Total processing time should not be more than 20 seconds or so.
Divide the dough into two pieces. Put each piece between two pieces of parchment paper, flatten out and then roll to about 3/16" thickness. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or so for the flour to completely hydrate.
For the Rich Pumpkin Pie Filling
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain and let sit at room temperature while you pre-bake your crust.
Line a 9" pie pan with one of your dough disks. Line the crust with some plastic wrap and then fill with beans. Bake the crust at 325 degrees for 10 minutes or so. Carefully remove the wrap and beans and bake for 10 more minutes.
While the crust is baking, cut leaf shapes out of the dough scraps and the other disc of dough. If you don't have a leaf cutter, just cut out simple leaf shapes with a knife. Score in some "veins." Make 10 leaves (in case 1 or 2 break). You're going to place one on each piece of pie, so make each one so it will "just fit" on a wedge of pie. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Brush these little leaves with an egg wash made from 1 egg and 2 teaspoons of water, beaten well. Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon sugar.
Pour the filling into the par-baked pie crust, and put the pie onto a cookie sheet.
Place in a 325 degree oven. Put the leaves on the rack below. Your leaves will be done in 20 minutes or so. Take them out when they are golden brown and delicious. In a low oven, the pie could take upwards of an hour to bake. Be patient, and don't turn up the heat. The lower temperature helps to ensure a creamy filling.
When the pie is done, a knife inserted about 1 inch from the center should come out clean. If the very center is still a little jiggly, it's okay. It will continue to cook and set up once it's out of the oven. Cool for two hours on a rack. Serve immediately"place a leaf on each wedge of pie. Serve with any of the accompaniments from "Help, I'm Out of Time" Pumpkin Pie.