Saturday, November 13, 2010

Birthday pumpkin pie

My boss had a birthday this week, and she loves pumpkin pie.  I decided to make her one, but I wanted to try and make a ginger snap crust. Something about it just seemed interesting. 

So, I had all the ingredients, except evaporated milk.  I ventured out to the corner store and bought two cans.  I decided that I wanted some allspice, as I've needed it twice this week and didn't have it. Who knew?! I grabbed it and some ground black pepper (sounded like a good idea).

As I was wondering around the store, I stumbled into the tower of stacked spiced wafers.  I noticed on the bottom of the box in the stack that there was a crust recipe!  Bingo!

So, when I got home and unpacked, I began to layout the ingredients on Pillsbury Baking Book.  I was still debating on whether I wanted to make one or two pies.  It didn't seem that much more effort to make two, and Thanksgiving is around the corner, but can you freeze a pie? I called MK and asked, after googling it... we decided it was ok. My former pastry chef friend KA confirmed it. (A post online recommended half baking it and freezing. Then finish baking by putting it in the oven while preheating.)

As I proceeded to think about making 2 pies, I noticed that the recipe on the back of the pumpkin pie can was identical to the recipe in the Pillsbury book.  So, I filled the book back on the shelf and used the can. (and then saw the recipe from Libby's on this morning)

I preheated the oven, and used it to melt the butter for the crust.  Meanwhile I pulverized the cookies in my Cuisinart, and added in the sugar.

Why to recipes say, combine this much of these three items- and then you won't use 1/3 of it?! what's that about?  I was mad, so I used all of it. I'll show them.

So while the crust cooled in the fridge/freezer, I mixed the ingredients for the filling.

The only variation to the Libby's Famous, was that I added 1/4 t allspice and 1/4 t nutmeg (2 t cinnamon, 1/2 t ginger, 1/4 t cloves, 1/4 t allspice and 1/4 t nutmeg is called "pumpkin pie spice") and I only used 3 eggs, because that was all I had. They were organic, so I'm not sure if they were large, or extra large.

I took the crusts out of the fridge and poured in the filling.  I topped off the crusts and put them in the oven. 15 minutes at 425, and then turned it down to 350 for 45 for minutes.

However, we never got there. With 20 minutes left, and while serving pizza to JW and MK, I noticed the condo was FULL OF SMOKE!  I ran and turned off the oven and we opened all the windows and turned on all the fans. It's November! You would think the house would've aired out in no time... but nooooo. Tonight there is zero breeze.  It took thirty minutes... to get it normal, at least.  I wouldn't let MK leave until it was clear because I was paranoid the building alarm was going to go off.

So, I scrubbed the burnt oven floor with baking soda and steel wool.  It worked like a charm.  Wait! Stop baking the 2nd pie so I can freeze it! Sweet!  Popped one pie back in the oven and the other got wrapped and placed in the freezer.

I finished baking the pie and wouldn't leave the kitchen. Paranoid that JW would have to hold a fan to the smoke detector to keep it from going off.

Meanwhile, I whipped some heavy cream, vanilla, sugar, and nutmeg and put it in Tupperware for transport.

The next day, we tried to eat the pie twice, and the third was the charm.  We whispered happy birthday to JV, and then served it up. Five of us managed to eat half a pie.

The girls claimed it to be one of the best pumpkin pies.  Which I was happy to hear. I was nervous that it 1) was going to taste burnt, and, 2) being JV's favorite, knew she knew her pie.

I tried to recreate this and it was hard to read from the pictures, so here you go:

Ginger Snap Crust:
1/2 cup spiced wafers, pulverized, about 14 cookies (if 3 cookies =1oz)
1/3 cup melted butter
1/3 cup sugar
Mixed until resembles wet sand. Line in the bottom of a pie dish, about 1/4" thick.  Allow to cool.

Pumpkin Pie Filling:
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 t "pumpkin pie spice"
1/2 t salt
2 cups pumpkin
1 1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 eggs
Preheat oven to 425. Combine all filling ingredients. Pour into crust. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce to 350 and bake for 40-50 minutes longer.

Whipped Cream:
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 t vanilla
1 t sugar
1/4 t nutmeg optional

Easy as pie...

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