Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Year of Pie: Spiced Pumpkin Pie

At our home, we are serious about Pumpkin Pie. It was the first thing I ever cooked for my husband when we were dating. Over the years it has been his birthday "cake" multiple times, kind of to be expected when you have a late October birthday. I have made it from fresh pumpkin many times, even tried cooking down the pumpkin puree in an iron skillet to make it extra rich before adding it to the pie filling. You name it, I've tried it.

The real breakthrough came from an old Bon Appetit magazine salvaged from the free bin at our library. Several years ago, the actual magazine met it's fate but the torn out page found a permanent home in my recipe file. What sets this apart from the back-of-the-can recipe is the combination of sugars, the spices and the addition of molasses and real cream. No evaporated milk to be found here friends, just the straight up real stuff. My only change from the original recipe is to use a homemade crust instead of the frozen crust they call for. Don't mean to sound like a food snob here, folks, but a pie crust is really easy to make. Do not fear the crust. Try my recipe and you will see for yourself what a difference it makes. That said, let's make some Spiced Pumpkin Pie!

In a good sized bowl, combine your dry ingredients. I love the contrasting colors of the four spices all together.

Here are the four different spices I used. All my spices and herbs come from our local natural foods store where they have a bulk herb section. Not only is the selection incredible, they are very fresh and much much cheaper than what you find at the grocery store. I could just stand there and open each jar one at a time and smell them all. I keep my spices in 4 ounce canning jars, they are a perfect size and you can enjoy all the pretty colors whenever you open the cabinet.

Above you can see the three eggs, funny how different the colors of the yolks are. Also, you can see my favorite eggbeater. This one hangs by my stove and gets used everyday. If you don't have a sturdy vintage rotary beater, find yourself one. You'll be forever grateful, they are so very handy.

This vintage pyrex bowl has a pretty cross-stitch pattern that you can't see on the outside, inside it has the beaten eggs, molasses, heavy cream and pumpkin puree. Pumpkin puree from a can. I love it.

Pouring the cream/egg/pumpkin/molasses mixture into the sugar and spice mixture. It's kind of mesmerising pouring in there isn't it?

Here is the pie, ready to go into a hot oven. The sacred magazine page is sitting right by the pie.

And now the finished pie, still slightly puffed from baking. I have a thing about crust, incase you hadn't noticed. The bottom of the crust must be golden and baked. Obviously this presents some problems since it is on the bottom of a searing hot pie plate. This is why I alway use glass. When I think it's just about done, I carefully take it out of the oven and lift it up high enough to see the bottom crust. If it's not brown enough, it goes back in to finish. An underbaked crust is the ruination of many good pies. Bake that crust!

Spiced Pumpkin Pie

2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (one can)
2 tablespoons molasses
3 eggs
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 nine inch pie crust

Stir together the first 8 ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, molasses, eggs and cream. Pour into the first mixture and then into the pie crust. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake about 40 minutes or until the center is just set. Cool and serve with lots of freshly whipped cream.

Serving with lots of freshly whipped cream is just what you'll find me doing this Thursday, this and The Other Pie.


theUngourmet said...

Pumpkin is my favorite pie! Your recipe looks delicious and I must try your crust recipe. I've been looking for a good one. Have a great Thanksgiving!

Claudia said...

This is a deep, wonderful autumnal pumpkin pie - rich and aromatic. And it looks heavenly. I am Bon Appetit lover for 20 plus years and still subscribe! (And much to my husband's chagrin - I have most of the magazines!)

Christina said...

I love pumpkin pie, yours looks fabulous!