Creating memories in the kitchen...One meal at a time.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day 5- The Pie

I really struggled with what pie recipe to post today. I have so many favorites it was hard to choose. After going back and forth, I finally decided on this good old-fashioned pumpkin pie. I know, I know so unoriginal but this is a great recipe and if you've been using the pumpkin pie in a can you've got to try this. It's full of that great pumpkin flavor without being too overpowering and silky smooth. It uses a couple of interesting ingredients and techniques . First of all, the crust has Vodka in it. This is crucial for the texture of the crust and doesn't change the flavor at all. (I've included a second crust recipe if you are opposed to the Vodka.)Second, it uses pumpkin puree as well as Candied Yams. The other two things that seperate it from your average pumpkin pie are that you pre cook the filling on the stove before baking and strain it through a sieve, giving it the silky texture . I would make this at least a day in advance because it does require some chilling time. Never fear, if you're not a pumpkin pie fan, we will be posting several other pie recipes throughout the weekend and next week.

Silky Smooth Pumpkin Pie
slighty adaped from Cook's Illustrated

Crust Ingredients
1 1/4 cups (61/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon table salt

1 tablespoon sugar

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices

1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into 2 pieces

2 tablespoons cold vodka

2 tablespoons cold water

The Best Pie Dough
Cooks Illustrated
For a double-crust 8- or 9-inch pie.
When rolling out the dough, roll to a thickness of about 1/8-inch thick (about the thickness of two quarters).
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
11 tablespoons unsalted butter , cold, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
7 tablespoons vegetable shortening , chilled
4 - 5 tablespoons ice water
1. Mix flour, salt and sugar in food processor fitted with steel blade. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture, tossing to coat butter with some flour. cut butter into flour with five 1-second pulses. Add shortening and continue cutting in until flour is pale yellow and resembles coarse cornmeal with butter bits no larger than small peas, about four more 1-second pulses. Turn mixture into medium bowl.
2. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of ice water over mixture. With blade of rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix. Press down on dough with broad side of spatula until dough sticks together, adding up to 1 tablespoon more ice water if dough will not come together. Shape dough into two balls with your hands, one slightly larger than the other. Flatten into 4-inch-wide disks. Dust lightly with flour, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling.
Filling Ingredients
1 cup heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

3 large eggs plus 2 large yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree

1 cup drained candied yams from 15-ounce can (if you can't find these regular canned yams will be fine)

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup maple syrup (the real stuff, not pancake syrup!)

1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon table salt

1. For the crust: Process 3/4 cup flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about two 1-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogenous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 10 seconds; dough will resemble cottage cheese curds with some very small pieces of butter remaining, but there should be no uncoated flour. Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining 1/2 cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.
2. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Flatten dough into 4-inch disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.
3. Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 400°F. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out on generously floured (up to 1/4 cup) work surface to 12-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll into pie plate, leaving at least 1-inch overhang on each side. Working around circumference, ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand. Refrigerate 15 minutes.
4. Trim overhang to 1/2 inch beyond lip of pie plate. Fold overhang under itself; folded edge should be flush with edge of pie plate. Using thumb and forefinger, flute edge of dough. Refrigerate dough-lined plate until firm, about 15 minutes.
5. Remove pie pan from refrigerator, line crust with foil, and fill with pie weights or pennies. Bake on rimmed baking sheet 15 minutes. Remove foil and weights, rotate plate, and bake 5 to 10 additional minutes until crust is golden brown and crisp. Remove pie plate and baking sheet from oven.
6. For the filling: While pie shell is baking, whisk cream, milk, eggs, yolks, and vanilla together in medium bowl. Combine pumpkin puree, yams, sugar, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon,

nutmeg, and salt in large heavy-bottomed saucepan; bring to sputtering simmer over medium heat, 5 to 7 minutes. Continue to simmer pumpkin mixture, stirring constantly and mashing yams against sides of pot, until thick and shiny, 10 to 15 minutes.
7. Remove pan from heat and whisk in cream mixture until fully incorporated. Strain mixture through fine-mesh strainer set over medium bowl, using back of ladle or spatula to press solids through strainer. Rewhisk mixture and transfer to warm prebaked pie shell. Return pie plate with baking sheet to oven and bake pie for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 300°F and continue baking until edges of pie are set (instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 175 degrees), 20 to 35 minutes longer. Transfer pie to wire rack and cool to room temperature, 2 to 3 hours.

Posted by: Sallie & Julia
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