I love 3-day weeks. Not only do they go by super fast, but after the short week is over, you get a long 4-day weekend! I’m going in to work for a couple of hours this afternoon, but after that, I’m freeeee! (Well, for a few days anyway. As soon as Thanksgiving is over, I get slammed with papers and final exams). And then I’ll be on my way to Chicago by this evening! Yay! Whoa, that was a lot of exclamation points in one paragraph. Can you tell I’m excited? :)
If you read my last post, you know that making pies is not my forte. I avoid making them, if at all possible. But I have to make at least ONE legit pie since it’s Thanksgiving, right? I decided to go with pumpkin pie since Ahra’s been bugging me to make it forever. I’ve been using the same recipe for the past couple of years, and it’s really great. Honestly, though, pumpkin pie is a little…boring. Even though it’s delicious, there aren’t any other textures or flavors to keep it interesting.
What could I do to spice up a pumpkin pie? I thought about using a graham cracker crust, or topping the pie with a pecan streusel. While I was poring over my favorite baking blogs for inspiration, I came across pictures of one of the most beautiful pumpkin pies I’ve ever laid eyes on. Seriously, it was gorgeous. Plus, it was exactly what I was looking for – classic pumpkin pie with a twist.
This recipe calls for candied yams and maple syrup to amplify the pumpkin’s natural flavor, and it also uses fresh ginger instead of dried. Also, it is a little involved and time-consuming than your average pumpkin pie recipe. It requires you to cook some of the filling ingredients together to concentrate the flavors and reduce the moisture. Straining the filling through a sieve ensures a silky smooth texture.
Now, I rarely say anything I make is the best, but this was hands down the BEST pumpkin pie I have ever tasted. Seriously, it was incredible. The pumpkin pie flavor was amazing, and the texture was beautifully smooth and creamy. For once, I was able to focus on something other than the ugly crust because the pie itself was so superb. I thought the pie might be enough dessert for two nights, but the boyfriend, my three suitemates, and I ate the whole thing in one night. I think it speaks for itself :)
If you’re still deciding on a dessert for Thanksgiving day, I highly, highly, HIGHLY, recommend this one!
Source: adapted from Brown Eyed Baker, originally from Cook’s Illustrated
- 1 recipe for single pie crust
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk (I used nonfat)
- 3 whole eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 15-oz. can pumpkin puree
- 1 cup drained candied yams (from 15-oz. can)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 12-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll into pie plate, leaving at least 1-inch overhang on each side. Working around circumference, ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand. Refrigerate 15 minutes.
3. Trim overhang to ½ inch beyond lip of pie plate. Fold overhang under itself; folded edge should be flush with edge of pie plate. using thumb and forefinger, flute edge of dough. Use a fork to prick the dough all over the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Refrigerate dough-lined plate until firm, about 15 minutes.
3. Trim overhang to ½ inch beyond lip of pie plate. Fold overhang under itself; folded edge should be flush with edge of pie plate. Using thumb and forefinger, flute edge of dough. Use a fork to prick the dough all over the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Refrigerate dough-lined plate until firm, about 15 minutes.
4. Remove pie pan from refrigerator, line crust with foil, and fill with pie weights or dried beans (I used rice), filling the whole way up to the rim of the pie plate. Bake on rimmed baking sheet 15 minutes. Remove foil and weights, rotate plate, and bake 5 to 15 additional minutes until crust is golden brown and crisp. Remove pie plate and baking sheet from oven.
5. While the pie shell is baking, whisk cream, milk, eggs, yolks and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Combine the pumpkin, yams, sugar, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan; bring to a sputtering simmer over medium heat, 5 to 7 minutes. Continue to simmer pumpkin mixture, stirring constantly and mashing yams against sides of pot, until thick and shiny, 10 t0 15 minutes.
6. Remove the pan from heat and whisk in the cream mixture until fully incorporated. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer set over a medium bowl, using the back of a ladle or spatula to press solids through strainer. Rewhisk mixture and transfer to warm prebaked pie shell. Return pie plate with baking sheet to oven and bake pie for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 degrees and continue baking until edges of pie are set and the center looks firm but jiggles slightly (instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 175 degrees), 20 to 35 minutes longer. Transfer pie to wire rack and cool to room temperature, 2 to 3 hours. Serve with whipped cream.