Pumpkin Pie

Nov 7th
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It doesn’t get more “fall” for me than a pumpkin pie. I’m classic that way – you can keep your pumpkin spice latte and I’ll keep my pie. Making pies with my mom before Thanksgiving is one of my favorite traditions but this pie is too good to save. It serves 8, can be served to your gluten free friends (just tell them to skip the crust) and this particular recipe is my favorite because there is just enough filling leftover for a Rich-sized, gluten-free custard cup of pie. The filling is based on America’s Test Kitchen’s recipe but I streamlined a few of the more annoying (and dare I say redundant – I’m sorry ATK you know I love you but ain’t nobody got time for that) procedures.

A word on the crust. I have a bunch of pies on here and they’re all an oil crust. Typical crust is made from butter and/or shortening. My mom’s recipe for oil crust is not only easy (I truly swear it is) but it’s the tastiest. It’s so workable that I was able to cut the letters for “love” with a knife and transfer them with nary a tear (tear like the dough tore, not me crying tears).

It’s salty the way a good crust should be – the “crust bites”, with a big ‘ol puff of whipped cream is my favorite, all salty and sweet perfection. If you make crust letter or shapes that you’d like to eat on their own, paint the letters with a bit of water and give a hearty shake of sugar (or maybe cinnamon sugar) to make them tasty instead of just salty. For pumpkin pie I prefer whipped cream (homemade or from the can – not Cool Whip, that stuff is gross) instead of ice cream – vanilla ice cream goes with the warm apple pie. I’ve been salivating a little while writing this last paragraph – who’s with me? Let’s make some pie, people. Tutorial for “LOVE” topping at the bottom of the post.

Pumpkin Pie

Serves 8

Single Crust

1 c. flour

3/4 tsp. salt

1/4 c. canola or vegetable oil

2 1/2 tbsp. cold water

Pie

2 c. plain canned pumpkin

1 c. packed brown sugar

2 tsp. ground ginger

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 tsp. salt

2/3 c. heavy cream

2/3 c. milk

4 large eggs

1. Preheat oven to 375. For crust: whisk flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Mix oil and water in a glass measuring cup. Add liquid to dry and mix with a fork until combined. Bring together gently using your hands to form a rough ball.

2. Lay out a piece of waxed paper. Put crust on paper and top with another sheet of waxed paper. Roll out to 1/4 in. thickness, or big enough to sit in pie plate.

3. Peel off one layer of paper and lay the crust, paper side up, into pie plate. Arrange so that it lays down on the inside and then peel off the top layer of paper. Flute edges.

4. Lay parchment paper on inside of pie plate and fill with any type of pie weights (or dried beans, lentils or rice).

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5. Cook in preheated oven for twenty minutes and remove.

6. While crust bakes, prepare filling. Combine pumpkin, brown sugar, spices and salt in a medium saucepan. Whisk to combine and heat over medium. Once sputtering, stir for about fives minutes.

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7. Whisk the milk and cream into the pumpkin mixture and bring to a bare simmer (a few bubbles popping the surface). Remove from heat.

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8. Whisk eggs very well in a small bowl and add to pumpkin mixture in a thin, steady stream while whisking constantly.

9. Pour filling into warm crust. If extra filling, discard or pour into a custard cup and bake for 40 minutes or until custard is set. Stick a butter knife into the center. If it comes out wet, the pie needs to keep baking.

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10. Let pie cool on a wire rack at least 1 hour. You can serve this pie warm, room temperature or chilled. It will be fine, covered with plastic, for 24 hours in the fridge.

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11. Serve, topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

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For Love Letters.

Make a second batch of crust and roll out to similar thickness as before.

Figure out your diameter and cut letters using the tip of a paring knife. Using a thin spatula, place letters on parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Bake for 13-14 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Let cool on wire rack and place on cooled pie.

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