Tuesday, December 2, 2008


In November 2008, CI updated its pumpkin pie recipe. They found, through trial and error, that adding some sweet potatoes and maple syrup to the filling and cooking it with the spices and sugar before baking it in the pie crust gave the pie more depth of taste. They also liked fresh ginger as opposed to dry ginger. And where they came up with whole eggs + yolks is a mystery. (If I make this pie again, I will just use two eggs.) Usually, CI is a dependable source for good recipes. Their
vodka pie crust
is absolutely phenomenal and one that will now be a standard in my house. But I had to add spices and flavoring to the pumpkin pie filling. I tasted the filling before it went into the Cuisinart, after cooking it for a while, and it was very good. But after I added the cream and milk, it seemed bland. So I added more ginger and cinnamon, then I added cloves and allspice, then I added rum, and finally it was tasting like a pumpkin pie should. The texture of the pie is great, and it's just sweet enough. But IMHO, CI did not flavor the pie correctly; and it needed just a touch of cloves and allspice to wake it up but not overpower it. (I know this is very subjective; everyone has his own idea of what a pumpkin pie should taste like. While I don't care for a pie that is overwhelmed with spices, I do like to taste some spice in the filling.) The rum just completes the flavor. (If you don't cook with alcohol, I don't have a substitute for you. Just leave the rum out and have a little less flavor.)

Cook's Illustrated 2008 Pumpkin Pie, Adapted
Rating: 8 out of 10

1 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh roasted) (I used fresh-roasted pumpkin)
1/2 cup drained canned yams, or 1/2 cup fresh-roasted sweet potatoes (I used the latter)
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
1-1/4 tsp. grated fresh ginger
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
Big pinch powdered cloves
Big pinch powdered allspice
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup milk, divided use
1-1/2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk (Or just use 2 large eggs.)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. Barbados rum (or any other good rum that you have)

Preheat oven to 400F. Prebake pie crust and transfer to a wire rack. While crust is baking, start the pumpkin filling: In a 2-quart heavy pot, cook first 10 ingredients (pumpkin, potatoes, sugar, maple syrup, spices and salt) over medium heat. Bring to a sputtering simmer and cook 5-7 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until thick and shiny, 10-15 minutes, while mashing any lumps against side of pot. Transfer mixture to work bowl of a food processor and puree with 1/2 cup of milk. Add eggs, one at a time and pulse to combine each. Transfer mixture back to pot, add remaining ingredients (1/2 cup milk, heavy cream, vanilla, & rum) and stir to combine. (I did this on the cooktop, with stove turned to medium.) Pour hot mixture into warm crust and place on baking sheet on bottom rack of oven, at the lowest setting. Bake for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 325F and bake about 25-35 minutes longer, or till pie is just barely set. (I watch the pie puff up, starting at the edges and working towards the center. When everything but 2" or so of the center is puffed up, and the pie just jiggles slightly, take it out.) Cool at room temperature 2-3 hours, then refrigerate. Serve with rum whipped cream, if desired. Yield: one 9" pie, about 8 servings

1 comment:

johngl said...

Now that is a tasty looking (and sounding) pie!

I have all of the Cook's Illustrated going back to '97. Great stuff in there!