Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pumpkin pie - week 37 of 52

With fall comes the promise of pumpkin pie! Saw this simple recipe online and wanted to try homemade pumpkin pie, crust and all.

This recipe has instructions for making dough using a food processor and I have added recipe instructions for those using a stand mixer. I used to think making pie crust was a pain but the stand mixer method was so easy and the crust came out great.

This recipe is quite easy – I left the pecan/gingersnap layer out. I started watching Top Chef (thanks for introducing me to the show Peter!) and was inspired by the beautiful plating of all of their dishes. I decided to add a spun sugar decoration to be put onto the ice-cream served with the pumpkin pie.

What you need to do is to cook 2 parts sugar with 1 part water until approx 310 degrees. I didn’t use a thermometer for this but once the sugar becomes a medium caramel colour, took it off the heat. I then took a fork and spread the syrup on parchment paper into designs and let it cool to harden. Be careful – the syrup is very hot! I left the designs to cool, and noticed that after a couple of hours, they went from glass-like to a little sticky. They probably absorbed some moisture by sitting out on the counter – I recommend making them and using immediately.

The pumpkin pie was fine – not my favourite, as it wasn’t quite flavourful enough. I would probably add a little more spice for a little extra kick next time. However, will definitely be making the spun sugar sometime soon! It’s really easy and will definitely impress your guests!

Bon app├ętit!

Pumpkin Pie (courtesy of website)
Rating (out of 5 stars) ***
Cost $

Pate Brisee (Short Crust Pastry):
1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon (14 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch (2.54 cm) pieces
1/8 to 1/4 cup (30 - 60 ml) ice water
Pecan and Gingersnap Layer: (optional)
1/4 cup (25 grams) pecans, toasted and ground
1/4 cup (25 grams) crushed gingersnap cookies

Pumpkin Filling:
3 large eggs
2 cups fresh pumpkin puree or 1 - 15 ounce can (425 grams) pure pumpkin
1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup (110 grams) light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Maple Whipped Cream:
1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Pate Brisee: In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds). Pour 1/8 cup (30 ml) water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube until the dough just holds together when pinched. If necessary, add more water. Do not process more than 30 seconds.

Pate Brisee (stand mixer method):
Cut the butter into smaller pieces (1/4 inch pieces). Place flour, salt, sugar and butter in the mixer bowl. Attach the flat beater and set to speed 2 and mix for 30 seconds. Increase to speed 2 and mix for 30 seconds. Increase to speed 4 and mix until only small lumps of butter remain. Quickly add ice water and mix until dough comes together.
Turn the dough onto your work surface and gather into a ball. Flatten into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to one hour before using. This will chill the butter and relax the gluten in the flour.

After the dough has chilled sufficiently, place on a lightly floured surface, and roll into a 13 inch (33 cm) circle. (To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from the center of the pastry outwards).) Fold the dough in half and gently transfer to a 9 inch (23 cm) pie pan. Brush off any excess flour and tuck the overhanging pastry under itself. Use a fork to make a decorative border. Alternatively, you can trim the pastry to the edge of the pie pan. With the remaining pastry make decorative cut-outs (leaves, pumpkins, etc.) and with a little water, attach them around the lip of the pie pan. Refrigerate the pastry, covered with plastic wrap, for about 30 minutes before pouring in the filling.

Pecan and Gingersnap Layer: Toast pecans in a 350 degree F (180 degree C) oven for 8 minutes or until lightly browned and aromatic. Cool and then place the pecans in a food processor and process until finely ground. Combine the ground pecans with the crushed gingersnap cookies. Press this mixture evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of the unbaked pie crust. Cover and return the pastry to the refrigerator while you make the pumpkin filling.
Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place rack in bottom third of the oven.

Make the Pumpkin Filling: In a large bowl lightly whisk the eggs. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie shell and place on a large baking pan to catch any spills. Bake the pie for about 45 to 55 minutes or until the filling is set and the crust has browned (the center will still look wet). (A knife inserted about 1 inch (2.54 cm) from side of pan will come out almost clean.)

Place the baked pie on a wire rack to cool. Serve at room temperature with maple whipped cream. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

Makes one 9 inch (23 cm) pie.

Make the Maple Whipped Cream:
Place the heavy whipping cream and maple syrup in bowl of your electric mixer. With the whisk attachment, whip the cream until soft peaks form.

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