Pumpkin Pie

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Pumpkin pie has never been a really traditional thing in our house, and neither have pumpkins (aside from carving a couple around Halloween and then roasting the seeds).  So last year I decided to make a pumpkin pie, and it was really good.  So I then started experimenting and trying to make a “whipped pumpkin pie.”  That recipe never really worked out, but I still plan on fiddling and tweaking it, because I know it has the potential to become something amazing.  In the meantime though, I came across a recipe for a “bruleed pumpkin pie” in the November issue of Martha Stewart Living.  There are three things which make this pumpkin pie a spin off the old traditional (only one of which I actually used)–toasted and ground pumpkin seeds in the crust, homemade evaporated milk steeped with whole spices (used it!), and a crisp and caramelized sugar topping.  I ditched the pumpkin seed crust because I am currently too in love with traditional pie crust to consider dawdling with pumpkin seed pie crust, and I ditched the brulee because I lack a blowtorch and I love whipped cream (though I suppose you could do both).  Beyond all these changes and whatnot, though, I ended up with a creamy, creamy, smooth, and sweetly spiced pie in a flaky, golden shell of pate brisee.  Sigh, so nice…  But now for a confession.

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I am good at making pie crusts.  They’re always tender and golden and yummy delicious, but sometimes I still screw the darn things up.  My crust shrunk because I didn’t roll it out big enough and it pulled a bit while I placed it in the dish.  Still, I decided to go ahead and post the pie because it is delicious and nobody’s perfect.  So enjoy the pie!

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Psst! Are you a Whovian who can hardly wait for tomorrow?  So am I!  I’ll be incorporating some of my thoughts on the Doctor, companions, Daleks, and, of course, the Day of the Doctor in my next post!

PUMPKIN PIE

Making homemade evaporated milk steeped with whole spices may seem like too much work, but IT IS TOTALLY WORTH IT.  Hands down the best way to flavour a pie ever.  Ground spices tend to be much more sharp and poignant, but using whole, steeped spices lends this pie a smoothly spiced flavour.  Adapted slightly from the 2013 November issue of Martha Stewart Living.

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled an halved (or 1/2 teaspoon dry ground ginger)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 425 gram / 15 ounce can pure pumpkin
  • 160 grams / 3/4 cup unrefined cane sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 recipe pie crust
  • Whipped cream, to serve

To make the evaporated milk, bring your milk, cinnamon, vanilla seeds, peppercorns, cloves, and fresh ginger (wait if you’re using dried) to a simmer over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan.  Reduce heat and let simmer until reduced by about half, 25 minutes.  Once reduced, let cool until room temperature, about 2 hours.  Once completely cooled, pour milk through a sieve and discard the solids.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F with your rack in the middle of the oven.  In a medium bowl, beat the eggs.  Next whisk in the pumpkin, followed by the sugar, salt, dried ginger (if you didn’t use fresh), and evaporated milk.

Pour your pumpkin mix into the prebaked pie shell.  Cover the edges of the shell with some tin foil and pop in the oven.  Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.  Bake another 25 minutes, until the custard is just set in the center.  Let cool completely on a wire rack, about 2 hours, and then refrigerate uncovered for at least 8 hours.

Slice and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

Serves 8-10

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