Friday, November 20, 2009

Infamous Pumpkin Pie

In my family, we make two pies for Thanksgiving - a pumpkin pie and a chocolate pie (since I'm not a huge fan of pumpkin). This year, I will also be making a Pumpkin Icebox Pie this year, which I'm looking forward to trying, for Husband's sake. Today, I'm sharing my Infamous Pumpkin Pie recipe. This is actually the first pumpkin pie I've ever made - my mother has always been the one who made the pumpkin pie, but according to my official taste tester, I have taken over the Pumpkin Pie throne with this masterpiece.

This recipe is for all of you true pumpkin fans out there. I'm not one of you, but my husband sure is! If you're looking for a classic Thanksgiving pie recipe, this is the one for you.

Infamous Pumpkin Pie
adapted from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook
Pie Crust
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces and chilled
4-6 tbsp ice water

1. Process the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor until combined. Scatter the shortening over the top and continue to process until the mixture has the texture of coarse sand, about 10 seoconds. Scatter butter pieces over the top, and using short pulses, process the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 pulses. Transfer to a bowl.
2. Sprinkle 4 tbsp of the ice water over the mixture. Stir and press the dough together, using a stiff rubber spatula, until the dough sticks together. If the dough does not come together, stir in the remaining water, 1 tbsp at a time, until it does. Form the dough into a 4-inch disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
3. Let the chilled dough soften slightly at room temperature before rolling it in a 12-inch circle and fitting it into a pie plate. Trim, fold and crimp the edges and freeze the unbaked pie crust until firm, about 30 minutes, before filling or baking.
4. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line the chilled crust with aluminum foil and pie weights. Bake until the pie dough looks dry and is light in color, 25-30 minutes. For a partially baked crust (like the one for pumpkin pie), transfer the crust to a wire rack and remove the weights and foil. For a fully baked crust (but NOT for pumpkin pie!), remove the pie weights and foil and continue to bake until the crust is a deep golden brown, about 12 minutes longer. The pie crust may be cooled completely or used warm, according to the pie recipe.

1 15-oz can pureed pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix!)
1 cup packed dark brown sugar (NOT light brown sugar)
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup whole milk
4 large eggs

1. After removing the partially baked pie crust from the oven, leave the oven rack at the lower-middle position and increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees. The crust must still be hot when the filling is added. (This is what makes the filling so creamy!)
2. For the filling: While the crust bakes, process the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, spices and salt in a food processor until combined, about 1 minute. Transfer the pumpkin mixture to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook the pumpkin, stirring constantly, until thick and shiny, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the cream and milk, return to a simmer briefly, and then remove from heat.
3. Process the eggs in the food processor (no need to clean the processor bowl of residual pumpkin!) until uniform, about 5 seconds. With the machine running, add about half of the hot pumpkin mixture through the feed tube. Stop the machine, add the remaining pumpkin, and ontinue to process the mixture until uniform, about 30 seconds longer.
4. Immediately pour the warm filling into the hot, partially baked pie crust. If you have any extra filling, ladle it into the pie after it has baked for about 5 minutes, by which time the filling will have settled in. Bake until the filling is puffed and lightly cracked around the edges and the center wiggles slightly when jiggled, about 25 minutes. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and cool until warm or room temperature before serving.

To make ahead: (makes Thanksgiving that much easier!)
The pie can be refrigerated, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 2 days!

NOTE: The easiest way to do this is to make the pie dough first. Set up your pie crust and put it in your pie plate. Heat the oven to 375 to bake your crust, and put it in the oven. Set a timer for about 10 minutes. Then start making your filling. You should be wrapping up your filling just as the pie crust comes out of the oven. Perfection!

This is part one of my Thanksgiving survival series - tomorrow, I'll get into Gravy 101, followed by stuffing and my favorite chocolate pie, French Silk Pie. Make sure to stay tuned! Don't forget to check out my Thanksgiving Timeline, also, which can be a real time-saver!


thatgirlblogs said...

Oh, I love pumpkin pie -- it just makes my Thanksgiving. Thanks for the info.

Cook'n said...

i have been menu planning for the last several months and it has made the biggest difference. This Thanksgiving will be so much easier. Thank you so much!

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