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November: What better time to bake with pumpkin?

It's November again, and that means seeing red, orange and yellow, both in the trees and also in our kitchens. You might remember I wrote about visiting the pumpkin patch last month and using the pumpkins to make fresh pumpkin puree, which can be used to make pumpkin pies and treats for Thanksgiving. I wanted to share with you the pumpkin recipes I made with my own pumpkin puree. Though I'm not opposed to using the canned kind, it's very good and you can even buy it organic these days.

Also this month and through the holidays I wanted to set a goal for myself to start making more recipes from cookbooks and my Bon Appetite magazines. I always tell myself I'll make this one day but seldom ever get around to actually doing it. So for November and the rest of the year I'll be making a concerted effort to do just that.

Other bloggers have attempted this feat as well, one of my favorites and a very popular one is 101 Cookbooks. She was once just like me, having a whole shelf of cookbooks that were rarely used and she felt it was time to change that. There are a lot of recipes there that I vow to make myself one day.

And that day finally came when, keeping with my pumpkin theme, I made her Pumpkin and Rice soup. Mine did not turn out that great however. I think using puree here is not advised. You should start with the real gourd. Live and learn!

 

I also really like Food52 where there's a collection of amazing recipes I would love to try!

The pumpkin pie recipe I made is from the 2013 November edition of Bon Appetite. I made a few tweaks, mostly based on what ingredients I had or didn't have available in my own kitchen. But that's the fun in cooking - go your own way!

Steph's Interpretation of Bruleed Bourbon-Maple Pumpkin Pie

INGREDIENTS

Chocolate Pie Dough

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. - I used Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 31/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 11/4 cups plus 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons Crisco
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Filling and Assembly

  • All-purpose flour (for dusting)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 15-oz. - I used fresh- made pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons Rye Whiskey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon}
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon Five Spice Powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground mace
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup - I only had Grade A and only 1/2 cup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract - I think I added in a lot more, oops!
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream - we used other 1/4 on another recipe
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Special Equipment

  • A kitchen torch

Baking

Chocolate Pie Dough

Pulse cocoa powder, granulated sugar, salt, and 11/4 cups plus 1 Tbsp. flour in a food processor to combine. Add butter and shortening and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. Transfer to a large bowl.

Whisk egg yolk, vinegar, and 1/4 cup ice water in a small bowl. Drizzle half of egg mixture over flour mixture and, using a fork, mix gently just until combined. Add remaining egg mixture and mix until dough just comes together.

pumpkin pie

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface or heavily floured because, ya know, you overdo things, flatten slightly, and cut into quarters. Stack pieces on top of one another, placing unincorporated dry pieces of dough between layers, and press down to combine. Repeat process twice more (all pieces of dough should be incorporated at this point). I felt like my dough was already really "incorporated" but did this anyway. Form dough into a 1" thick disk. Wrap in plastic. I chilled it for the length of a horror movie, about 2 hours.

pumpkin pie

 

Filling and Assembly

Roll out disk of dough on a lightly floured surface into a 14" round - this took awhile as it sort of fell apart. Transfer to a 9" pie dish - or any size really, does it matter? Lift up edge and allow dough to slump down into dish. Trim, leaving about 1" overhang. I had to piece the edges together since I couldn't get it big enough during the roll out but it all blends back in very well. Fold overhang under and crimp edge. Chill in freezer 15 minutes.

Place a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 350deg. Read that again - check your oven. I always have things in my oven that I forget to remove while preheating. Line pie with foil, leaving an overhang. Fill with dried beans (the cheap man's pie weights). Bake until crust is dry around the edge, about 20 minutes. I was supposed to put it back in after removing the dried beans, to let the bottom dry out, but I skipped that step and no, not on purpose. Brush bottom and sides of crust with 1 beaten egg - I definitely did not use the whole egg, seemed like way too much. Return to oven and bake until dry and set, about 3 minutes longer. (Apparently, brushing crust with egg and baking will prevent a soggy crust - which it did!)

Whisk pumpkin puree, sour cream, whiskey (because you didn't have bourbon), cinnamon, salt, ginger, nutmeg, five spice powder, mace, and remaining 3 eggs in a large bowl; set aside.

pumpkin pie

Pour maple syrup in a small saucepan; add vanilla extract and bring syrup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thickened and small puffs of steam start to release, about 3 minutes, or until you forget about it and it has a bunch of little bubbles in it. Remove from heat and add cream all at once because you forget to read the instructions that told you to add it in 3 increments, stirring with a wooden spoon until smooth. Gradually whisk hot maple cream into pumpkin mixture.

 

 

Place pie dish on a rimmed baking sheet and pour in filling. Bake pie, rotating halfway through, until set around edge but center barely jiggles, 50-60 minutes. Transfer pie dish to a wire rack and let pie cool.

Just before serving, sprinkle pie with sugar and, using a kitchen torch, brulee until sugar is melted and dark brown. You can bake the pie 1 day ahead just don't brulee. Cover and chill. I didn't eat mine until the next day.

You can find the original recipe here.

The pie turned out very well and I brought it into the House Party offices for everyone to try.

pumpkin pie

What pumpkin related foods are you planning on whipping up this November? Please share and happy baking!

 

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