I love that I’ve posted two entries that have both deviated from my NaBloWriMo plan – and it’s only the second day. Typical. But I assure you over the next few days you will get your fair share of apples.
This past Saturday I found myself alone in the house. After the initial shock of the unfamiliar sound of silence and reveling in the peaceful moment I turned on the oven, cranked up the tunes and set myself for the task at hand – create a winning pumpkin pie. You see, somehow I got myself into a pie contest for the Queen Anne Farmers Market. I blame twitter – re-tweet with caution for it could get you signed up for pie contests.
Really though the contest was fun and I need very little, if any, excuse to bake a pumpkin pie.
Let me quickly point out that my pie was not the winner – making it therefore, a loser. However, I am still going to share the recipe because I rather enjoy it – particularly for breakfast. Pumpkins are a vegetable thereby making it a healthy dish. (Don’t you just love my logic?)
I knew I was taking a chance with this pie. With creativity being a category for the judging I thought briefly about toppings and chocolate or just about anything else that would win me points. I just couldn’t do it. To me there is not much that beats classic pumpkin pie – especially Grandma’s pie.
So it was her classic recipe I turned to as it is always the favorite item on our Thanksgiving table. Of course I tweaked a few things to make the recipe reflect my style. The crust was Grandma’s recipe using olive oil instead of canola oil. This substitution gave the foundation a hearty, savory flavor. The pumpkin puree – from a can because that’s how Grandma would do it – was infused with bay, vanilla bean and the traditional spices. My pie was subtly sweet with the addition of a dark Muscovado sugar.
The top of the pie was covered in Fall leaves made from an all butter crust and brushed with various egg or cream washes so they would each be a different shade. I served the pie with a Maple whipped cream.
It’s a winner – well not technically – you be the judge.
The Losing Pumpkin Pie
2 cups Flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup cream
In a medium bowl combine the flour and salt. Stir in olive oil and cream. And *poof* pie dough is done. The dough will be wet. Press into pie pan and bake for 30-40 minutes at 360* until completely baked but the color will remain light. Pour in pumpkin pie filling (below) then continue baking until custard is slightly loose in the center. 350* approximately 35-45 minutes.
Pumpkin Pie Filling
2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup Muscovado sugar (you can easily substitute dark brown or even light brown sugar)
1/2 tsp salt
1 dried bay leaf
1 vanilla bean
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp fresh nutmeg
Combine the puree, cream, sugar and spices in a medium sauce pot then place on low heat. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the puree and throw the pod in there as well. Cook the filling for about 10-15 minutes. Turn off the heat then let it sit for an hour or two – this isn’t vitally necessary but allows the flavors to meld. You could also do this the day ahead.
Re-warm the filling then stir in the eggs taking care not to cook the eggs. I like to put warm filling into a warm crust because it cuts down on the baking time.
Bake as directed above then let cool completely.
Garnish with Fall leaves using your favorite pie crust recipe (you could use the same crust recipe as directed above but I find that it doesn’t roll out very easily even when rolling between two piece of parchment. I used my Perfect Pie crust – all butter)
I used a variety of washes to get the differing colors on the leaves. 1. one egg and one yolk whisked together 2. one white and 1 tbl. water 3. Heavy Cream
Some of the leaves were sprinkled with white sugar, some turbinado and the rest, Vanilla sugar – and of course a little sprinkle of salt over all of them.
Serve with Maple whipped cream – simply add 1-2 tbl to 2 cups whipped cream.