Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving was at my mom’s this year and I was asked to bring the desserts.  It is always hard to decide what to make, especially when half of the guests are children.  So, I decided to make Baked Brownies, pumpkin pie, and peanut butter cookies in case the first two didn’t turn out.  I had never made a homemade pumpkin pie before and I needed a recipe. So, I looked through a bunch of my cookbooks and a bit online. I finally decided to go with Martha Stewart’s recipe.  She had never failed me and I was hoping this would not be the time. 🙂

Looking at the recipe, it didn’t seem too difficult. What I was most nervous about was the pie crust. I haven’t made pie crust, honestly, since junior high in Home Ec class. I never made it again because it seemed like an awful lot of work for something I could easily buy at the store.  But, now I was determined to make this pie from scratch and that included the crust.  I liked 2 things about the preparation of the crust: 1. It is made in the food processor and 2. It makes two crusts, so I have one in the freezer to make a pie later. I learned that making pie crust isn’t hard, it is just time consuming between making the dough, chilling it, rolling it, crimping the edges, and blind baking it.  But, I have to admit, it was so worth the difference in taste and texture.  This pumpkin pie was unlike any we’ve ever had. The crust was so buttery and flaky and the pumpkin custard was really creamy and soft, though it still held its shape.  Most of my family agreed it was the best pumpkin pie they had ever had.  I am not a huge pumpkin fan, but after the work I put into this pie, I had to taste it.  So, not to be immodest, I’m just being honest when I agree with my family. Best. Pumpkin Pie. Ever. 😀

Crust: (makes 2 crusts: 1 for now and freeze 1 for later)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

16 tablespoons cold (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

In a food processor, combine dry ingredients (flour, salt, and sugar), pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until it resembles coarse meal, with just a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining.

Sprinkle with 1/4 cup ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed with fingers (if necessary, add up to 1/4 cup more water, 1 Tbsp at a time). Do not over process, or your crust will not be flaky.

Transfer half of dough (still crumbly) onto a piece of plastic wrap. Form dough into a disk 3/4 inch thick and wrap tightly in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (and up to 3 days). Repeat with remaining dough. (Disks can be frozen, tightly wrapped, up to 3 months. Thaw before using.)

Pumpkin Pie:

2 large eggs

3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin, (1 3/4 cups)

1 cup half and half

Using kitchen shears or a paring knife, trim dough to a 1-inch overhang. With floured fingers, fold overhang under itself to form a rim; pinch between thumb and forefinger to form a uniform edge around rim of plate. Crimp with fingertips. Refrigerate pie shell until chilled, 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line dough with aluminum foil, folding foil over rim of pie plate. Fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until crust is firm, about 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil and beans. Cool crust completely before filling.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, pumpkin-pie spice, and pumpkin. Whisk in half-and-half. The filling will be on the thin side. Pour mixture into cooled pie crust. Bake until set, about 1 hour. Cool on rack at room temperature, 1 hour.  Then refrigerate to fully cool and serve.

Source: Martha Stewart

Helpful Hints:

  • For a flaky crust everything must be cold. Use butter immediately from the fridge and prepare water with ice in a glass, that you can then pour into a glass measuring cup. Do not over process!!
  • If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, no worries. You can make your own! Stir together 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg- use what you need for the recipe and store the rest in an airtight container for later. (Martha Stewart)
  • I was sad to see that my pie cracked a bit in the middle, but looking at Martha’s picture, hers did too. I tried to smooth it out with a knife, but I made it worse. If the crack bothers you, just put whipped cream on it before serving it and no one will know. 😀
  • My crust stuck a bit, so though the recipe did not say to coat the pie plate with cooking spray, I think I will try that next time I make this crust.
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  1. French Silk Chocolate Pie | AmazingRecipesOnline.com

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