Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pumpkin Pie: Theme & Variations

 I've been enjoying my holiday festivities to the detriment of this here blog lately, sorry. Last year, if you remember, I baked up an incredible storm! This year, our festivities were a little more spread out and my assignments a little easier. We ate with my dads family on Thursday and we were asked to bring wine and 2 pumpkin pies. Friday, we ate with my mother-in-law's family and I was asked to bring cookies. Today, we're ate with the in-laws and had (ugh) family pictures... I brought pierogi casserole.

For Thursday, my grandma had initially requested that I bring Brussels sprouts. I protested, not wanting to become the person who always has to bring the same thing every year. Bad idea. I was all but verbally stoned, and made to promise that I'd bring them for Christmas. Anyways, I wound up with the pumpkin pie assignment. For the sake of tradition and crowd pleasing, I wanted to stick with a classic pie, but for the sake of my ego and boredom, I wanted to jazz up my pies.

First, I started with nick's great aunt Ada's pumpkin pie recipe. It's an older recipe, heavily spiced and containing molasses, so it's more brown than orange but it's still pretty classic.

1½ cups Pumpkin
3 Eggs - beaten
½ tsp. Salt
¾ cup Brown Sugar
1 cup Milk
2 Tbsp. Molasses
1 tsp. Cinnamon
¾ tsp. Ginger
½ tsp. Nutmeg
¼ tsp. Cloves
¼ tsp. Allspice
2 Tbsp. Melted Butter

Mix it all and bake @ 450 for the first 10 minutes, then @ 375 for 45-55 or until it sets.  

Then, it was time to get creative. I saw a cinnamon roll pie crust on pinterest that was as simple as can be:

make and roll out a regular pie crust, paint it with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon, roll up into a log and slice very thinly, place wheels as close together as you can in the pie plate and press into a coherent crust.

That one turned out almost as well as on the Internet :)

For the other, I tried to replace some of the flour in the crust with pulverized ginger snaps (surely, I've read somewhere that you can do that) and put some honey-roasted nuts in it.  The crust was a mess.  It looked great until I added the little bit of water.  The cookie crumbs soaked it all up instead of it making the dough ball up.  I didn't have enough butter to try again, so a lot of flour and a little bit of water later, I had a dough that was serviceable, but dry and not at all flakey.  The honey was too much, the pie was too busy.

The score: Angela, 1; Pie, 1

Such is life.  At least I can make Nick take the one to work tomorrow.  They'll eat anything, right?

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