Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Thanksgiving in September: Creamy Sugar and Spice Pumpkin Pie

This pie was my final dish for the mini-Thanksgiving we had a couple of weeks ago. It's amazing--extra creamy from all that heavy cream, perfectly pumpkin-flavored, and just the right amount of spice to taste just like fall without being overwhelming. The crust melted a little on me in the oven, a problem I seem to have with pie crusts for some reason, but it was still delicious once I pushed it up the sides with a spoon and poured in the filling.

Creamy Sugar and Spice Pumpkin Pie (adapted from Fine Cooking)

For the crust:
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup very cold water
1 1/2 cups flour
10 T cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

For the filling:
15-oz. can pure pumpkin
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 cup heavy cream
1 T light rum or brandy
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp table salt
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Generous pinch ground cloves

1. Make the crust. In a small bowl, mix together the salt and water until dissolved. Place in the freezer while you get everything else ready.
2. Put the flour in a food processor and scatter the butter on top. Pulse until the mixture forms large crumbs and some of the butter is in pieces the size of peas, about 8 pulses. Add the salt water and pulse until the dough begins to come together in large clumps with some pieces of butter still visible. Shape into a 1-inch-thick disk, wrap in plastic, and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
3. Place the dough circle between two sheets of wax paper and roll out to a 1/8 inch thick circle. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate that has been sprayed with oil. Crimp the edges.
4. Place the crust in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Then preheat the oven to 400 degrees, line the pie shell with parchment, and fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until the sides have set and look dry, 16-20 minutes. Remove weights and bake 5 minutes more. If the dough starts to bubble, push it back down with the back of a spoon. Let the crust cool completely.
5. Make the filling: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Meanwhile, whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, yolk, cream, and rum in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, pepper, and cloves. Stir together with a fork to get rid of any lump in the brown sugar. Then gently whisk the sugar mixture into the pumpkin.
6. Pour filling into cooled crust and bake until pie is set around the outside but still slightly wet and jiggly in the middle, about 1 hour. Let cool completely, and then chill for at least 2 hours before serving. The pie will keep for 2 days in the fridge.
7. Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

1 comment:

  1. Mmmmm. I adore pumpkin pie. And I seem to have the same problem with droopage, because I use all-butter crusts. I have tried freezing, ultra-hot ovens, and other fixes--I have finally just started baking in fluted pie pans so gravity is on my side! Michael's has really cute ceramic Fall-themed ones right now for 5 bucks. Looks great!!