Monday, November 23, 2009

Puffy Pumpkin Pie

Puffy Pumpkin Pie

This is the real deal

No condensed milk or Cool Whip for this pie, just real cream.

Everyone LOVED this pie!
Made for a Thanksgiving dinner for about 20 people this pie, along with my Dad's maple apple pie, was gone in an instant! Will, a friend of mine who also loves to cook and was the master mind of this grand feast, grabbed seconds even though he was so full he could barely move! I guess whoever brought the grocery store pies can go get their money back-they weren't even opened ;)

I have made a pumpkin pie once before (several years ago) but somehow I don't remember the batter being so fluid.. I used organic pumpkin puree. The first can had a thick pourable liquid-like consistency and the second can was a little more solid, like Libby's.  Well, anyways, I didn't think to drain the puree and ended up with a very liquid batter, and had enough to fill a deep 9 inch pie crust and make 3 mini pies (and still yet 2 heart shaped cupcake pies!! - I ran out of mini tins ;)

Somehow, I wasn't satisfied with the idea of pouring a can of condensed milk, pumpkin puree and some spices into a bowl and calling it a day.... I wanted something more challenging. [at one point I thought I was going to regret being such an over-achiever on this one... Luckily I can say that being innovative and optimistic are also two of my distinguishable qualities and I managed to redeemed myself --- please see picture below]

PROBLEM: Burnt Pumpkin Pie

Okay, so I worked too hard (and quite frankly spent too much money) to just chuck this poor pie in the trash can. Luckily, pumpkin pie is pretty forgiving and forms a thin layer "skin" when it "burns". I was able to peel off the top layer and cut off the edges of the crust. (I really need to buy one of those crust savers.) Leaving me with an edible - but not too appealing - pumpkin pie.

SOLUTION: Homemade vanilla whipped cream

Everything happens for a reason. This pie would not have been the same without the whipped cream.  A friend of mine, Matt, came over so I put him to work ;-) ... but as you can see that backfired. (haha, I'm only kidding... he honestly did help a lot)

Well, without further delay, here is the recipe from William's Sonoma- please see ingredients notes.

William's Sonoma Pumpkin Pie

  • 2 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (from about
     1 1/2 cans, each 15 oz.)
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 3 whole eggs plus 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs. brandy
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream for serving 
  • 1 deep dish (9 inch) pie crust

Notes regarding the ingredients:

- I used organic pumpkin puree.  You can use what ever you'd like- just make sure its not pumpkin pie filling
- I only had skim milk so I filled the 1/3 measuring cup about 3/4 the milk and topped it off with some heavy cream to achieve something closer to whole milk
- I didn't have any brandy so I just skipped this ingredient... although I'm sure it would be fantastic.
- See my recipe for vanilla whipped cream bellow.

Make the pie

Preheat the oven to 425 F and bake a deep dish pie crust (9 inch) - either homemade or store bought - (I had to use store bought.. I was on a major time crunch!) and bake until lightly colored (maybe 10-15 minutes or so) Remember to COVER YOUR CRUST! to prevent burning. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.
    Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Add the flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves and whisk until smooth. Add the eggs and egg yolks and whisk until combined. Add the cream, milk, vanilla and brandy and whisk until smooth. Pour the filling into a cooled piecrust. This recipe made so much more than one deep dish pie. Fill the pie tin completely full. The pie will puff a little while baking but it will eventually settle when cooled (KEEP CRUST COVERED)

    Place the pie dish on the middle baking rack. Bake until the filling is set, about 1 hour and 15 minutes, covering the edges of the crust with foil if they get too brown! Bake until an inserted knife comes out clean. The pie may still be a little "jiggle-y" or look slightly uncooked.. no worries.  Transfer the pie dish to the wire rack and let the pie cool completely, about 4 hours, before serving.

    BAKING TEMPERATURE Note: It took my pie more like 1 hour and 30 minutes.  This is the only pumpkin pie recipe I have seen that does not bake the pie in increments of lowering temperatures. Several other recipes I found used this method: Pour into pie shell and bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes reduce the temperature to 350°F. Bake 40-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  I think I'll try this next time - maybe that will alleviate the burn problem.

    Vanilla Whipped Cream

    • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 3 tbs granulated white sugar
    • 3 tbs powdered sugar
    • 2 packets Otker Vanilla (or 1-2 tsp vanilla extract)
    Pour heavy whipping cream into a bowl. Using a hand held or a standing mixer, begin to mix the cream on high speed. Gradually add granulated sugar one tablespoon at a time. Add the two packets of vanilla and three tablespoons of powdered sugar. (You can stop at any point to test the sweetness. This was pretty sweet - so adjust to your taste)

    Using a plastic bag or piping bag top off your pumpkin pie how ever you'd like.

    DECORATING: I love leftover pie dough :)  My sister and I would always get to make little shapes (snowmen were always fun) with the leftover dough from Dad's apple pies. So, after piping the vanilla whipped cream the pie still looked a little plain so in a combined effort Matt and I came up with this little pumpkin, we were very proud.  You can use a fork to make the vertical marks and I had the green leafs from what was actually a bottle of assorted Christmas sprinkles. Isn't it adorable!?!

    Since I'm pretty health conscious I'd like to educate my readers so I'm switching gears and I'm going to start providing the nutritional stats for my recipes : )  Yey! (Well, maybe not so exciting after you see some of the stats but at least you can make moderate, and healthy choices :)

    Nutritional stats:
    (1/8 of pie)- not including whipped cream 
    Calories 319, Fat 13grams, Carbs 45grams, Sugars 30grams, Protein 5grams
    Vitamin A 256%, Vitamin C 6%, Calcium 7%, Iron 14%

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