Tuesday, October 13, 2009

... and pumpkin pie again

thanksgiving: the time of year we roast birds that are way too big for our ovens and turn vegetables into sweet desserts. weird.

i like yams, but i've never really liked that sweet yam stuff that people make for thanksgiving dinners. i've never roasted a turkey, and honestly have no plans or desires to. i much prefer chicken anyhow. and i do have plans AND desires to roast a chicken this year yet. maybe for christmas? or my birthday... ooh... potential dinner party plans are developing in my head now.

i decided to forgo the turkey tradition (that i've never really followed anyway so its really not that unusual for me) and made waffles instead. i had some friends over for brunch and made a batch of traditional waffles, and a batch of vegan waffles (one of my best friends is vegan, so it makes me be creative and try more new things). the regular waffles fluffed up and cooked perfectly - although would have tasted better right off the wafflemaker instead of being let to sit in a pan in the oven to slowly get wimpy. the vegan waffles, however, had issues. they browned nicely and tasted great, but it completely split apart and baffled me.

i got the vegan waffle recipe at veganyumyum (a fantastic blog with beautiful photos), minus the blueberries.

(my kitchen after a day of waffles, pie, and lounging about. not pictured are the sink + another counter of dishes)

but my post doesn't have 'waffles' in the title, it has 'pumpkin pie,' so i shall now get back on topic. ahem.

so i made pumpkin pie. this tradition i upheld with much glee. i made 2 of them. one of them vegan. i wasn't exceptionally fond of pumpkin pie as a child, but i have been loving the crap out if it now that i have been making it myself.

lately, my go-to-pie-crust-recipe has been taken from simply recipes. for the filling i followed the recipe from joy of baking, but i have also used the crust recipe from joy of baking last year when i made pumpkin pie and i remember it turning out as well.

i'm not an expert pie dough baker, but i'll do my best to explain the basics of making pie dough, as i know it.

this one in particular is called a Pâte Brisée

  • 2 1/2 cups flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 4 to 8 Tbsp ice water
  1. first thing i do is cut the butter (if you want to make your pie vegan, this is where you substitute earth balance or another vegan buttery spread, in place of butter) into cubes and toss them in the freezer for a few minutes (wrapped in wax paper or something)

  2. whisk dry ingredients together (flour, salt, sugar) in a medium/large bowl

  3. throw cold butter cubes in and cut with a pastry cutter. (or if you're a rich, fancy baker, use a food processor). some recipes say you can just use 2 knives for this, but i've never tried it. if you don't have a pastry cutter or a food processor, just use your hands. it's quite fun to use your hands. cut until it looks like 'coarse bread crumbs'

  4. add ice water a little bit at a time, and 'toss' the mixture until it starts to stick together. if you squeeze some of the mixture together and it stays together, its pretty much ready. i generally use all 8 Tablespoons of ice water, though...

  5. form into 2 round disc shapes, plop onto parchment paper and refridgerate for a while. about an hour-ish. you can use it right away, but putting it in the fridge does something like relax the gluten or something technical like that. but you can use this time to make your filling. after 45 minutes to an hour, take the dough out of fridge and let it sit for at least 15 minutes before rolling. holding the dough with your hands helps warm it up quicker too. mm... body heat.

  6. filling!
    • 3 large eggs

    • 2 cups fresh pumpkin puree or 1 - 15 ounce can (425 grams) pure pumpkin

    • 1/2 cup (120 ml) 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

    • whisk eggs in a large bowl. add everything else and stir/whisk. i added some nutmeg too.

  7. use the same parchment paper you used to wrap the dough in the fridge. put a bit of flour on it, plop the round disc of dough on it, and start rolling. make sure your rolling pin is well floured.

  8. (see pictures below)

8. (roll from center out, and try to keep in a circular shape.
roll until about 1/4 or 1/8th of an inch thick)

9. (roll into circle that is bigger than your pie pan.
place pan on top of dough, and gently flip,
then peel the parchment paper off and press the dough into pan)

10. (now you can pour the filling in.
and cut the edges of the pie dough off with a knife or scissors)

11. bake! in a preheated 375 F oven.
for 45 to 55 minutes
(until crust is browned and filling is set.
test by inserting knife one inch from the edge and it should come out clean)

12. serve with freshly whipped cream and indulge your senses.

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