As many of you may know, I will not be cooking this Thanksgiving after having had ankle surgery last Monday. It really is not that I was trying to get out of cooking that
big messy dinner wonderful holiday and family get together meal, it’s more like I had to get my surgery done before Spring so that I could get back On the Road to visit some more local wineries and farms!
In order to get a jump on things, I spent many days before my surgery
slaving in a hot kitchen playing make believe and preparing Thanksgiving dishes (well, maybe not all of them…) so that I could write some Thanksgiving posts and give you a few great recipes that I made and loved for your holiday cooking and baking enjoyment.
You just knew that I had to be cooking something else with pumpkin. I have enough pumpkins to keep me supplied for years to come! After preparing Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting, French Pumpkin Soup, Pumpkin Ice Cream, Pumpkin Fall Bites Dog Treats (my guest post at Suddie’s Blog at Deep Acres Farm) and a few other pumpkin surprises to come…the next choice had to be pumpkin pie!
I don’t care for too many pies, but pumpkin pie has to be one of my all time favorites. I only want to eat it between Thanksgiving and Christmas and then I am all done with that, but I can eat a mess of it during that month!
I have to say that the good ole’ Libby’s pie made from a can ain’t so bad, but if you want a twist on a pumpkin pie that delivers a real surprising taste, use fresh pumpkin. It has a totally different flavor and Libby just can’t put that in a can.
I tried two types of pumpkin in this recipe. Different pumpkins will produce different flavors. The Fairytale pumpkin has a mild flavor with a deep orange color. I tried to make this pie with a Candy Roaster pumpkin and found that the slightly spicy flavor was not as pleasing as the Fairytale. After a few days in fridge, the Candy Roaster version was good, but who wants to wait a couple of days to allow the flavors to come together. My preferred choice is the Fairytale pumpkin. It had a delightful and pleasing pumpkin taste.
The Fairytale pumpkin also produced a filling that was so much smoother and lighter than what you get from canned pumpkin. The only change I would make to the published recipe is to leave out the cardamom. One minute I liked it in the pie and the next I wasn’t so sure, so I say ditch it and save it for another dish.
If you aren’t able to find a Fairytale pumpkin, a Sugar Pie pumpkin should work just fine in this recipe. Please, no Jack-O-Lanterns, they don’t have a pleasant taste. Those big orange pumpkins may be fun to carve, but are not very good for cooking. The Sugar Pie pumpkins are smaller to handle and are sweeter in flavor, which makes them perfect for baking.
My favorite pie crust recipe is courtesy of Ina Garten. It has just enough butter to have a bit of a buttery taste, but adds shortening to give it that light and flaky texture. The nice thing about a homemade pie crust (besides tasting like 1,000 percent better!) is that they don’t brown as quickly and can stand up to longer cooking times when making pies.
So you aren’t stressing, make the crust ahead (it makes enough for two pies) and let it rest in the fridge for a half hour or more. Go about your other turkey business and then come back, roll it out and fill it. How easy is that (to quote Ina)?
Suzanne’s Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie with Bourbon Whipped Cream
Adapted from Simply Recipes
2 cups of pumpkin purée from a Fairytale pumpkin or Sugar Pie pumpkin
1 1/2 cups heavy cream or 1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk (I used evaporated milk)
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs plus the yolk of a third egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon (I would suggest you omit this spice)
1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
1 good crust (I used Ina Garten’s Perfect Pie Crust)
Bourbon Whipped Cream, for serving (recipe below)
* I suggest you follow the directions for making your own purée here. This will give you the best results and keep the purée from becoming too watery to bake with.
* Since there are so many variations on pie pan sizes, I thought I would give you the exact measurements of the one I used to give you the best results. I used a pyrex glass pie dish that measured 8 inches across the bottom, nine and a half inches across the tip and two inches high.
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Mix the sugars, salt, and spices, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Beat the eggs and add to the bowl. Stir in the pumpkin purée. Stir in cream or evaporated milk. Whisk all together until well incorporated.
Pour into pie shell and bake at 425°F for fifteen minutes. After fifteen minutes reduce the temperature to 350°F. Bake forty to fifty minutes, or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack for two hours. Serve immediately or let sit overnight in the refrigerator to serve the next day. * Be sure to bring the pie close to room temperature before serving, as the flavors are best then.
Serve with Bourbon Whipped Cream.
Bourbon Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons bourbon (I use Maker’s Mark)
Whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar until stiff peaks form. Lightly fold in the bourbon. Taste after one tablespoon and see if you would prefer a heavier bourbon taste. I like mine with one tablespoon of bourbon (surprise!), but if you like a boozier taste, feel free to add more. After all, it's the holidays! :)