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Monday, December 5, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Anyone?

I used some of the extra pastry to cut out autumn shapes and then decorated the crust with them.  Aren't I just so festive?
To go along with my Turkey Roulade, of course I had to make a pumpkin pie.  I mean, come on.  What would Thanksgiving be without the pumpkin pie?  I know some people prefer apple or pecan pie, but since I was cooking I got to make my favorite Thanksgiving pie.  And that pie is pumpkin.

I have made a zillion different pumpkin pies over the years.  Each has its merits.  Some are light and chiffon-y.  Some are denser and more custard like.  Some are rich with spices and other are sweeter.  There are as many versions of pumpkin pie as there are versions of apple pie and there's an argument for why each is best.

But I have to tell you that I have finally hit on the best pumpkin pie ever.  I mean it.  This is a pumpkin pie that stands above all others.  I played around with a couple of different recipes and came up with this rich, spicy but surprisingly light pie.  I have to give credit where credit is due however and give a shout out to everyone's favorite southern gal, Paula Deen.  Who else would put cream cheese in a pumpkin pie.  Pumpkin cheesecake yes.  Pumpkin pie no.

So, with thanks to Paula and to Martha Stewart for my go-to pate brisee, here is my final word on the subject of pumpkin pie.

Recipe:  The Best Pumpkin Pie

For the Filling:


1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups canned pumpkin, mashed
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg and beat until incorporated.

Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake for 1 hour, or until the center is set. Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature.

Recipe:  Martha Stewart's Pate Brisee

For the Crust:


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4-1/2 cup ice water


*  Make sure to use very cold butter and icy cold ice water.  

Put flour, salt and sugar in a bowl, blender or food processor. Add the pieces of butter and process approximately 10 seconds or until it resembles "coarse meal.".

Add ice water drop by drop while machine is running (or you are mixing)--- just until dough holds together without being wet or sticky. Do not mix longer than 30 seconds.
Roll dough out on a piece of plastic wrap. Press down slightly. Chill for at least one hour.

Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface and then fit into a pie plate.  Do not stretch the cough.  If it's not large enough, roll it out a little more and then try again.  Decoratively crimp edges.

1 comment:

  1. It does look like a delicious pie. You are right I think...only Paula Deen would add cream cheese to a pumpkin pie. I'm glad you tried the recipe and posted the wonderful results!