23 November 2011

Ye Olde Pumpkin Pie

Oh, pumpkin pie, I so enjoy your fragrant deliciousness. I haven't had the honor of making the Thanksgiving pumpkin pies in a few years. There was that one year a few back when we had Thanksgiving here and I believe I made the pies. I think that may have even been vegan pumpkin pie that year. This year, I volunteered to bake and thought I'd share the process with you!

Something you should know about me first, I'm a "make the crust from scratch" kinda gal. What can I say, I'm my mother's daughter. She taught me well. 

Pie Crust
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cups vegetable shortening
6-9 Tbsp. VERY cold water (I usually add a couple ice cubes to a bowl of water while I'm cutting the shortening into the dough and then use that.)

Measure your flour, salt and shortening into a bowl. Using a pastry cutter, mix everything together until it is crumbly. It should look like small pebbles, #1 (click the photo to get a closer look). Then add the water, three to four tablespoons at first, then mix. Then add at least two more tablespoons of water and continue to mix. the dough should begin to bind together as you're mixing/stirring. Depending on how well it's coming together (or not) you may or may not need to add the remaining water. Once it starts getting close to a ball of dough, dig right in with clean hands and bring it all together. You should end up with a ball of dough like #2. Cut the ball of dough in half and wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for at least a half hour. 

When the dough has had enough time to chill in the fridge, put one round of dough on a floured surface and roll it out (#3) until it's just a bit larger than a 9" pie pan. Carefully fold the dough circle in half, (but not pressing it together) then in half again to transfer it to your pie pan. Unfold the dough and form it into the pan. It can be a tricky process, but do like Tim Gunn says and just make it work. The finished shell should look like #4. Repeat with the other lump of dough. Yields two pie shells.

If you're not feeling up to the dough challenge, you can totally cheat and buy ready made pie crust, but then you won't have the satisfaction of making your own. Just try it! 

On to the pie. I used the recipe right of the can of Libby's 100% pumpkin. Apparently that's the one my mom's been using all these years!

Famous Pumpkin Pie
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
4 large eggs
1 can (29 oz.) 100% pure pumpkin
2 cans Evaporated milk
2 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shells (see above)

Mix sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

Pour into unbaked pie shells.

Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350; bake 40-50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. My pies baked for close to an hour so you have to keep an eye on them and let them do their thing. Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours, then serve or refrigerate. 

The sugar-spice mixture.

The eggs, sugar-spice mixture and pumpkin prior to mixing. I used my mixer, but you can do the mixing by hand.

Ta-da!! It's pumpkin pie, fresh out of the oven. I cannot wait until tomorrow to eat it up!

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