Tuesday, November 21, 2006

One of the Better Pumpkin Pies


I promised I would, so I made Richard Sax’s Best-Ever Pumpkin Pie, or something close to it, anyway. I pureed the pumpkin, mixed in the cream and eggs, measured out the cinnamon, allspice, and ginger and went to get my nutmeg grater.
I found that my nutmeg grater was partly melted—I must have left it too close to the stove last time. The halves had fused together and I had to whack it several times with my heaviest rolling pin to free the imprisoned nutmegs inside. Whack, whack, whack! I then grated a nutmeg with my microplane grater, which worked so admirably that I do not see any reason to outfit myself with another nutmeg mill. It is only very rarely that I discover I can live without any particular kitchen gadget.
Well, I added the freshly grated nutmeg to my little dish of spices, and assembled the pie. Before I put it in the oven I tasted the custard—wonderful—it was the most perfectly-seasoned (non-chocolate) pumpkin custard I had ever tasted. Only after I put the pie in the oven did I notice that my little dish of spices was sitting untouched on the counter (it is possible that my caffeine consumption has been a little higher than average the last few days). So that’s the secret! Don’t season the pumpkin pie at all! It will taste like pumpkin, cream, eggs and caramelized brown sugar. What’s not to like?
One of the Better Pumpkin Pies
adapted from Classic Home Desserts by Richard Sax
2 cups pumpkin purée
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Prepare this pastry dough. Roll out have to fit a nine-inch pie pan. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Blend the pumpkin with the other ingredients, and pour the custard into the pie shell. If there is extra custard, bake it in individual ramekins, or in small tartlets. Place the pie on the lowest shelf in the oven, and bake for 40 minutes. Move the pie to the floor of the oven, and bake for five minutes more. Allow the pie to rest at room temperature for several hours.
This is a wonderful pie, but I still believe that the best-ever pumpkin pie is this chocolate recipe. If you want to make this pie according to Richard Sax's original recipe, you would also add three tablespoons of Bourbon, 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon of ginger, 1/4 teaspoon of allspice, and a pinch of black pepper.

I had dough scraps left from this and a few other pies (we’re in a bit of a pie-baking frenzy chez chocolate), and I used them to line the cups of this little mini muffin pan. I think I may once have made mini muffins, but mostly I use these to bake off extra bits of cake batter or pie dough. The little pumpkin pies are very cute, but the crust-to-filling ratio is a bit high. This shape is probably best-suited to intensely sweet fillings, like pecan tassies.
You will also want to have a look at Virginie's Vegan white chocolate pumpkin pie at Absolutely Green.
Over to Sweetnicks for more seasonal antioxidants.
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5 Comments:

Blogger Cyndi said...

Since you say this is one of the better ones, this is the recipe I'll use today for my pie! (Only I'll be using a store-bought crust). I'll let you know how it turns out!

12:25 PM  
Blogger the chocolate lady said...

Thanks Cyndi!
I will be looking forward to hearing how it turns out.
While this is a lovely pie, I think this chocolate pumpkin pie
is the ideal towards which all other pies aspire.

7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Richard Sax recipe *is* the best pumpkin pie. I have been making it for Thanksgiving for at least the last 10 years and don't even consider any other recipe anymore.

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Kimberly said...

Those mini pumpkin pies are adorable. Do you know how long you baked them and at what temperature?

11:45 AM  
Blogger the chocolate lady מרת שאקאלאד said...

anonymous,
I am glad you have found your ideal pie.
kimberly,
I know I baked them at the same time as the big pie, so it was at the same temperature, 425, and I took them out earlier, but I do not know how much earlier! Just keep checking.

2:16 PM  

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