Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pumpkin pie

Pumpkin pie

Thanksgiving is all about tradition. So when I asked if I could make the pies this year (knowing that the threatened alternative was boughten pies -- the horror!), I knew I'd better deliver something good or else I'd never hear the end of it.

I heard plenty of it anyway, though. And by "it," I mean "that's now how we do it!" As in "no, you DON'T pre-bake the crust, I NEVER do!" And "you don't have to bake the crust, the can doesn't say to!" And especially that one -- "That's not how the can says to do it!!!" Ah, the all-hallowed can. Mom was referring, of course, to the recipe on the back of the Libby's pumpkin puree can, the recipe she's used every year, and apparently, if I wasn't following that recipe, I was doing it wrong and I was going to ruin Thanksgiving.

I'm happy to say that my pies were just fine, thankyouverymuch. Nobody complained about them at all. Though I think that next time I make them, I'd probably try using light brown sugar, 'cause the dark brown gave the pies a darker color than I'm used to and a bit of molasses flavor that, well, it wasn't bad, not at all, but I'm not used to that, either. Tradition, dontchaknow.

But am I making them next year? Doubtful. I'll leave Mom to her crust-in-a-box (*shudder*) and her sacred back-of-the-can recipe and take on some other part of the meal instead.

Pumpkin Pie
From Cook's Illustrated

One pie crust (I used half of this crust recipe)
2 c pumpkin puree
1 c brown sugar (the recipe calls for dark -- I might use light next time)
2 tsp ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 c heavy cream
2/3 c milk
4 eggs

1. Prebake your pie shell at 375 degrees, lined with foil and weighted down, for about 25 minutes on the lower rack of your oven. Remove foil and weights and bake 5 or so minutes more, until light golden.
2. Meanwhile, as the crust is baking, mix the pumpkin, sugar, spices and salt in a large saucepan and bring to a sputtering simmer. Cook about 5 minutes.
3. When the crust comes out of the oven, move the oven rack to its lowest position and turn up the oven to 400 degrees.
4. Whisk the cream and milk into the pumpkin and bring to a bare simmer.
5. In a bowl, whisk the eggs. Then, slowly whisk in a bit of the pumpkin. Continue adding a bit more at a time until the egg mixture is warm. Then, slowly whisk it into the rest in the pan.
6. Pour filling into pie shell. Bake about 25 minutes, until filling is puffed dry-looking and lightly cracked around the edges. Cool on rack before serving.

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