There were seven of us for Thanksgiving dinner. I could have easily gotten by with one pumpkin pie for dessert, but I made two. So glad...
This recipe makes the best pumpkin pie I've ever eaten. I've been baking this pie since 1999, when it first appeared in Gourmet magazine. Last year I made one pumpkin pie for seven of us and there were no leftovers. I will NEVER let that happen again.
The kitchen above, when it was still somewhat calm. That changed, of course...
• Gourmet, November 1999 PUMPKIN PIE
• 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter
• 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 2 to 4 tablespoons ice water
1. Cut butter into 1/2-inch cubes
2. Pulse together flour, butter, shortening, and salt in a food processor until most of mixture resembles coarse meal, with the rest in small (roughly pea-size) lumps. Add 2 tablespoons ice water and pulse 2 or 3 times, or just until incorporated.
3. Gently squeeze a small handful; it should hold together without crumbling apart. If it doesn't, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing 2 or 3 times after each addition until incorporated (keep testing). (If you overwork mixture or add too much water, pastry will be tough.)
4. Turn out dough onto a work surface and divide into 4 portions. With heel of your hand, smear each portion once in a forward motion to help distribute fat. Gather dough together and form it, rotating it on work surface, into a disk. Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour.
+ Dough can be chilled up to 1 day.
• 15-ounce can canned solid-pack pumpkin
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1/2 cup whole milk
• 2 large eggs
• 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon ground ginger
• Pinch of ground cloves
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• Whipped heavy cream, for finishing
• Finely diced candied ginger, for finishing
1. Make pastry dough as directed. Roll out dough into a 14-inch round on a lightly floured surface (I always roll my pastry dough between waxed paper and plastic wrap); fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Crimp edge decoratively. Chill 30 minutes
2. PREHEAT OVEN to 375˚F.
3. Line pastry shell with foil and fill with dried beans or rice. Bake in middle of oven for 20 minutes. Remove weights and foil and bake shell until golden, about 10 minutes more. Cool on a rack. Whisk together pumpkin, cream, milk, eggs, brown sugar, spices, and salt; pour into shell.
4. Bake pie in middle of oven, approximately 50 minutes, or until filling is set but center still trembles slightly. (Filling will continue to set as pie cools.) Transfer to rack and cool completely.
5. Serve with whipped and sweetened heavy cream and decorate with candied ginger.
+ To prevent overbaking custard, you should start checking the pie's doneness at 45 minutes, as ovens vary.
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