Monday, November 19, 2012
Pumpkin Pie. THE Thanksgiving Tradition
even when you're stuffed, pushing yourself back from the table, planning your after-dinner-dishes-duty escape, you're still going to grab at least one bite of that pumpkin pie.
(Unless your name is Jenny and you live in Australia!)
Today is Pumpkin Pie Day. After all, Thanksgiving is only three days away!
And this is an easy-peasy recipe.
First you need an empty pie shell. Go here to see my recipe, or here for Ruthy's version.
Or buy a frozen pie shell from the store. I won't tell.
I use the recipe on the back of the Libby's pumpkin can. I've tried others, but this is my family's favorite, hands down.
Oh, by the way, do you see the pie vulture lurking in the background?
Here are the ingredients you need:
(Before I forget, preheat your oven to 425 degrees!)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz) Libby's canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
1 can (12 fl oz) evaporated milk
In a small bowl, stir sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves together until blended.
In a larger bowl (I like to use my 2 quart pitcher from Pampered Chef - the pouring spout is so handy!), beat the eggs. Next, whisk the pumpkin and sugar mixture into the eggs. Blend well, and then stir in the evaporated milk. Make sure everything is well blended.
Protect the edges of your pie from browning too quickly by using strips of foil to cover it.
Bake it for 15 minutes at 425, and then reduce the temperature to 350 and bake for an additional 40-50 minutes.
And here's the most difficult part - how to tell if your pie is done.
The pumpkin is a custard. One fool-proof method for custards is to stick a knife in the filling halfway between the edge and the center. If the knife comes out clean, it's done.
However, I really don't like to serve a pie with holes in it. So I use the jiggle method :) When you're reaching the end of your cooking time, jiggle your pie slightly. If the center moves like it's a liquid, it isn't done yet. But if it stands up to the jiggle, it's done.
WAIT! The Pie Vulture again!
Whew. He left. I reminded him he has a paper due.
Anyway, when you take the pie out and remove the foil, it will be puffed up and look like this. As it cools, the filling will fall some and look like the picture at the beginning of the post.
Except for one more thing. This pie is for Thanksgiving, right?
So lets make it pretty :)
Here's one way to do it:
And here's another:
(disclaimer: take your pie out of the oven when you put the embellishments on to avoid the slightly crooked look...)
So how do you add embellishments and make your pie all purty?
Start with mini cookie cutters. We have a bit of a collection - the autumn shapes are from Pampered Chef, and I picked up the letters years ago when Jell-O was giving them away so you could make alphabet jigglers (remember those?).
Now make an egg wash by beating an egg with a couple tablespoons water.
Use the egg wash on the edge of your pie first - before you pour in the filling. Just brush it on gently. Don't worry if some of the egg drips down into the pie - it'll just mix into your filling.
Now, roll out your extra dough and brush it with the egg wash.
If you're adding shapes to the top of your filling like I did, bake the pie up until about 15 minutes before the end of the baking time - long enough to partially solidify the filling, but still with enough baking time left to bake the shapes. Take the pie out of the oven, place your pie crust shapes on top, and then return it to the oven for the rest of the baking time.
But this is only the beginning!
It's time to have fun! Embellishing your pie can take any shape from my simple additions, to some of these ideas I pinned on my Pinterest board.
Aren't they beautiful?
Oh, and you have to watch this short video about stenciling on your pie crust.
And you can also paint the crust for a colorful embellishment!
Have fun, and Happy Thanksgiving!