Last week was Thanksgiving and pumpkin pie is a traditional Thanksgiving dessert. Americans among you might find this hard to believe, but I had never eaten a single slice of pumpkin pie before in my entire life. When I was throwing a dinner party last Saturday and needed to decide on a dessert, I thought it would be nice to try and bake my own pumpkin pie. I saw a recipe for pumpkin pie on the blog of the Unorthodox Epicure, also known as Adam J. Holland, for what he claims to be the ultimate pumpkin pie. I had already decided that I would make my own pumpkin puree (also because store-bought pumkin puree is not easily available around here) and saw Richard McGary’s very handy recipe for pumpkin puree just in time to use for this. I used my own favorite pie crust and a mistake I made is that I decided to use dark brown sugar rather than light brown sugar, which made the color more like a light chocolate cake than like pumpkin. Credits go to Adam for the absolutely gorgeous texture. Thanks for the recipe, Adam! I’ll use a bit less cinnamon next time, as it was slightly overpowering the taste of the pumpkin that was not strong to begin with. Maybe I used the wrong type of pumpkin as they are not labeled around here. (Richard, do you recognize the variety?) I might also bake the crust a bit longer, similar to the quiche recipe, to compensate for the lower oven temperature that is needed for the pumpkin custard. But in the end I was happy with my first pumpkin pie, and so were my guests!
In the picture above it is served with some homemade maple ice cream. Recipe to follow!
250 grams (1 1/2 cups) pastry flour
125 grams (1 stick) butter
(Please note that the amounts in cups and sticks is slightly less than in grams, but it will be enough and in the correct ratio of flour to butter while it is easier than measuring 8.8 Tbsp butter and 1.56 cups flour)
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg yolk
For the filling
apricot preserves or jam (4-6 Tbsp)
200 grams (light) brown sugar (3/4 cup granulated sugar or 1 1/4 cup brown sugar)
1 Tbsp corn starch
2 tsp ground cinnamon (I will use 1 tsp next time)
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
180 ml (3/4 cup) heavy cream (35% fat)
125 ml (1/2 cup) sour cream
Try to roll out the dough in a circular shape that is big enough for your pie dish including the sides. (So for a 27 cm (11″) pie dish with 2.5 cm (1″) sides, you need a circle with a diameter of 32 cm (13″).
Let the dough in the shape rest for an hour in the refrigerator. Many recipes specify to let the dough rest before rolling it out, but it is much more difficult to roll out the dough when it’s cold. Letting the dough rest helps to relax the gluten, so the crust won’t shrink and will be more flaky and crunchy.
Make the pumpkin puree while the dough is resting. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. Cut the pumpkin in halves and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. (You can reserve the seeds for another use if you like.)
Bake for 15 minutes at 190C/375F (next time I will use 30 minutes). This step is called ‘blind baking’, since the pie is baked first without the filling.
Remove the parchment paper and pie weights, and pierce a few times with a fork. Return to the oven to bake at 190C/375F for another 10 minutes until slightly golden. (Next time I will increase the baking time to 20 minutes.) Lower the oven temperature to 160C/325F.
Make the filling while baking the crust. Peel the pumpkin. This is ridiculously easy compared to peeling a raw pumpkin. This is why should always try to peel a pumpkin when it’s cooked whenever possible.