Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Best Pumpkin Pie You'll Ever Eat

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a huge fan of pumpkin pie. It's always rather gloppy and heavy, you could ball it up and throw it at the person sitting opposite you if you really wanted to. That's not appealing to me in my pie, or my dinner guest. So while perusing my Thanksgiving edition of Bon Appetit magazine, I saw an entire section devoted to the almighty pumpkin. Intrigued by some pretty good looking recipes, I decided to take on their "Pumpkin Butterscotch Pie" and go one further: I used a REAL pumpkin. No can 'o pumpkin puree for moi, I got the real thing. I had never done this in my life, and didn't know if it would make a difference.

OH MY GOD. The difference was astounding. The real pumpkin made the pie really light and smooth, almost like a light custard, rather than heavy like canned pumpkin tends to be. I've vowed that from now on, this will be my pumpkin pie recipe, and real pumpkin will be my partner in crime.

I'm cooking for zee French for Thanksgiving this year (well, not all zee French, only 3), and I'm pretty sure they've never thought to make a pumpkin into a pie. This pie will surely amaze.

(To get pumpkin puree, slice pie pumpkin (not Halloween carving pumpkin) in half, remove seeds and strings, turn upside down in about 1/2 inch of water in a pan, and bake at 350 until the pumpkin is soft, about 45 minutes. Remove the flesh from the pumpkin shell, puree in a food processor until smooth. Let cool before you use it for the pie.)

Pumpkin Butterscotch Pie

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp salt
10 tsp chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubews
3 Tb. ice water

3/4 cup packed golden brown sugar, divided
2 Tb. unsalted butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup Scotch (I didn't use this)
1 1/4 cups whipping cream
1 cup canned pumpkin (or puree of one small pie pumpkin)
3 large eggs
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice

Mix flour, sugar and salt in processor. Add butter. Using on/off turns, process until very course meal forms. Add 3 water. Using on/off turns, process until moist clumps form, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if too dry. Gather dough into ball and flatten into disk. Wrap and chill for one hour.

Roll out dough to 12 - 13 inch round. Transfer to 9 inch diameter glass pie dish. Fold edges under and crimp as you wish. Chill dough until firm, about one hour.
(I used a tart pan with high sides, and i froze the dough for one hour, it eliminates bubbles while baking).

* Crust can be made one day ahead, cover unbaked crust and keep chilled.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line crust with sheet of foil. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake 20 minutes. Remove foil with beans. Bake until just beginning to turn golden brown, piercing with fork if bubbles form, about 15 minutes longer. Cool completely.

Combine 1/2 cup brown sugar, butter and salt in medium saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil until deep brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add Scotch, then cream (mixture will bubble a lot) and whisk until smooth. Return to medium hea t and stir until most caramel bits dissolve. Strain butterscotch mixture into small bowl. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Whisk remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar and pumpkin in large bowl. Whisk in eggs, then spices. Add reserved butterscotch mixture, whisk to blend.

*Can be made one day ahead, cover and chill, rewhisk before using.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour filling into crust. Bake until just set, about 50 minutes. Cool to room temperature, about 3 hours.

*Can be made 8 hours ahead, store at room temperature.

1 comment:

liz said...

this looks awesome! i have always wondered what the difference would be using real pumpkin. yum!