"punkin' in the pie...do do do doooo,"
i consider it his first song, and, of course, i love it.
i sing it to myself whenever i make pumpkin pie. like today. one of the best things about november (other than barak obama being elected president of the united states), is pumpkin pie. this one turned out as yummy as i remember from last year. i bake the pumpkins beforehand (or, carl sweetly bakes them for me), and then puree them. the crust gets pre-baked, with pie weights (i have a jar of dry chickpeas that i keep for just this purpose) so it doesn't get soggy.
today we were talking about stocking up on pumpkins while we can still find them at the farmer's market, and storing them in our garage-turned-workshop/studio-space. it's insulated. carl loves to bake pumpkin bread, and i do like me some pie!
update: the recipe
i bake the pumpkin ahead of time. i simply cut a pumpkin in half, place it face down on a cookie sheet, and bake it at 350F, for an hour and 15 minutes, to an hour and a half. once it has cooled a bit, the peel comes off easily. then i puree it in the food processor, but you could also use a potato masher.
i sometimes make the crust the night before, stick it in the fridge, and make the pie in the morning.
this crust rocks. i use it for all sweet pies now. the little bit of sugar gives a lot of flavor, and helps with browning.
for any single curst pie, 8 to 10 inches in diameter. double the recipe for a two-crust pie.
|1⅛||cups (about 5 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus some for dusting work surface|
|8||Tbsp. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into about 8 pieces|
|~||About 3 tablespoons ice water, plus more as needed|
- Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in the container of a food processor; pulse once or twice. Add the butter and turn on the machine; process until the butter and flour are blended and the mixture looks like cornmeal, about 10 seconds.
- Place the mixture in a bowl and sprinkle 3 tablespoons of water over it. Use a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula to gradually gather the mixture into a ball; if the mixture seems dry, add another ½ tablespoon ice water. When you can make the mixture into a ball with your hands, do so. Wrap in plastic wrap, flatten into a small disk, and freeze the dough for 10 minutes (or refrigerate for 30 minutes); this will ease rolling. (You can also refrigerate the dough for a day or two, or freeze it almost indefinitely.)
- You can roll the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap, usually quite successfully; sprinkle both sides of it with a little more flour, then proceed. Or sprinkle a countertop or large board with flour. Unwrap the dough and place it on the work surface; sprinkle its top with flour. If the dough is hard, let it rest for a few minutes; it should give a little when you press your fingers into it.
- Roll with light pressure, from the center out. (If the dough seems very sticky at first, add flour liberally; but if it becomes sticky only after you roll it for a few minutes, return it to the refrigerator for 10 minutes before proceeding.) Continue to roll, adding small amounts of flour as necessary, rotating the dough occasionally, and turning it over once or twice during the process. (Use ragged edges of dough to repair any tears, adding a drop of water while you press the patch into place.) When the dough is about 10 inches in diameter (it will be less than ¼-inch thick), place your pie plate upside down over it to check the size.
- Move the dough into the pie plate by draping it over the rolling pin or by folding it into quarters, then moving it into the plate and unfolding it. When the dough is in the plate, press it firmly into the bottom, sides, and junction of bottom and sides. Trim the excess dough to about ½ inch all around, then tuck it under itself around the edge of the plate. Decorate the edges with a fork or your fingers. Freeze the dough for 10 minutes (or refrigerate it for 30 minutes).
- When you’re ready to bake, prick it all over with a fork.
To pre-bake the crust
preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
tear off a piece of foil large enough to fit over the entire crust when folded in half. smear butter on one side of the foil, then press it into the crust. weight the foil with a pile of dried beans or pie weights or a tight fitting skillet or sauce pan--anything that will sit flat on the surface.
bake 12 minutes. remove from the oven, reduce the heat to 350 F, and carefully remove the weight and foil.
bake another 10-15 minutes, or until the crust is a beautiful shade of brown.
start the filling while the crust is baking
when crust is done, turn the oven to 375 F
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch ground cloves
2 cups pureed pumpkin (can use canned, if you wish)
2 cups half-and-half, light cream or whole milk
Beat eggs with the sugar, then add the spices and salt. Stir in the pumpkin puree and the the half-and-half. While the curst is baking, warm this mixture in a medium saucepan over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until it is hot to the touch; do not boil.
Place the pie plate on a baking sheet. Pour this mixture into the still-hot crust and bake 30-40 minutes, until the mixture shakes like jell-o but is still quite moist. cool on a rack and serve warm or at room temperature.
from the book How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman