Thursday, November 8, 2012

Oh my Pumpkin!

Hello! It's fall, which translates to me 'it's pumpkin season'.  Fall is my favorite season for many reasons (the air is crisp & cool, all the leaves are turning bright yellow & red, pumpkin patches are everywhere, and grocery stores smell like cinnamon) but mostly because of all the pumpkin recipes that only seem to come out during the fall.

Usually at Thanksgiving my mom buys a frozen pumpkin pie, throws it in the oven, and voila, we have pumpkin pie! But, this year I wanted to make the pie from scratch.  After checking out tons of pumpkin pie recipes I finally settled on 2 that sounded like a good place to start for a first-time-pie-baker. I used one recipe for a no-roll pie crust and another for the pumpkin filling.  Let the baking commence!

 The key to this no-roll pie crust was 1) freezing the butter and then 2) grating the butter into little pieces (I used a cheese grater). I used a pastry blender ( to combine the butter & flour. You can use your fingers or forks to combine the butter & flour, but the pastry blender makes it so much easier.

 Once the dough was ready, I packed it down in the pie pan and up the sides (kind of like a cheesecake crust).
 You can bake the crust first, then add the filling & bake the filling, but it was starting to get late, so I decided to freeze the un-baked pie crust until the filling was ready, and then bake everything together.
 Making the filling was more work than I imagined, as this recipe called for cooking the pumpkin & yam filling in a sauce pan before baking it in the oven.  After cooking the filling on the stove top, it is then passed through a mesh strainer to make the filling more smooth & less grainy. In my next pie experiment, I'm going to skip these steps & see if the results are noticeably different.
 I had to play around with the baking time since I was using an un-cooked pie crust.  It ended up taking close to 60 minutes for the filling to cook, but my advice is to check the pie after 40 minutes, then continue checking every ten minutes until the center is no longer giggly.

 Voila! My first homemade pumpkin pie :-) I topped it off with Trader Joe's House Whip & a sprinkle of cinnamon. Yum!!!

Easy No-Roll Pie Crust Recipe - From Joy the Baker:

Silky Smooth Pumkpin Pie - From Smitten Kitchen:

My notes for these recipes:
1) Make pie crust first
2) Place pie crust in freezer while making filling
3) Pre-heat oven to 400
4) Fill pie crust with filling & bake at 400 for 10 minutes
5) Reduce temp to 300 & continue baking for 30-50 minutes (or until center is firm & no longer giggly)
6) Cool pie to room temperature, then chill in refrigerator (I let the pie chill overnight as I like my pumpkin pie very firm & cold)


- Tiff

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