There is something to be said for Pillsbury pie crusts. They’re easy, quick, convenient and virtually fool-proof. Those thoughts were running through my head as my Thanksgiving piecrust got ruined. I prepared the dough for flaky cream cheese pie crust and froze it several days ago, but forgot to take it out of the freezer the night before. If it had thawed in the fridge overnight, I might not have had a problem. Instead, I tried to quick-thaw it on the counter and probably left it out too long. When I tried to prebake my pie shell, I wound up with a shrunken, tough mess that went into the trash.
Plan B was a quick butter pie crust, thrown into the fridge for an hour to cure. I like to let pie crusts cure overnight in the fridge, but there was no time. And this crust did not get prebaked. Instead, I lowered the oven rack to its lowest position and placed my pizza stone on it, preheated the oven to 400F for a half hour, and then placed the filled pie on tinfoil on the stone. Of course, to complete my day, the pie cracked in a very unappetizing manner…… Deep cracks…… I guess this is my humble pie.
The pie filling recipe, found on recipetips.com, was tweaked to my liking. I wanted to taste the pumpkin, not spices and sugar, and I liked the spices in this recipe. I just decreased the nutmeg by 1/8 teaspoon. I cut the sugar and corn syrup a bit, used dark corn syrup instead of light, subbed milk for 2/3 of the cream and added melted butter. The filling calls for 1-1/2 cups of fresh pumpkin puree, but I’m sure that canned pumpkin can be used. I used 1 cup of Hubbard squash, 1/2 c of butternut squash and 1/2 cup of sweet potato. After pureeing and draining, it came to 1-1/2 cups. Draining the squash is an integral part of this recipe, so I didn’t want to skip it. If you opt to use canned pumpkin, you might still want to drain it to get the excess water out. The filling for this pie fits perfectly into a 9” pie plate with no leftovers.
I am still thankful at Thanksgiving time. I’m thankful that the pie, although ugly, is still edible and that I have people to share it with. Sometimes it’s the little things……
UPDATE: The pie was fantastic! Guy said it was the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever made. It was very light, yet rich and creamy with just enough sweetness and subtle spices that perfectly complemented the mix of squashes and sweet potato. An ugly duckling for sure, but still a winner. The crust was as ugly as the filling. It broke if you looked at it, but it was absolutely delicious – buttery, tender, flaky and perfect with the pie. Oh, and best yet – the crust was cooked through. Using the bottom rack of the oven and a pizza stone that’s preheated definitely makes a difference in the pie crust.
|TRADITIONAL PUMPKIN PIE|
Adapted from recipetips.com Printable Recipe
Rating: 10 out of 10
|INGREDIENTS: 1-1/2 cups cooked butternut and hubbard squashes or canned pumpkin|
1/2 cup cooked or canned sweet potatoes
1/4 cup brown sugar (I used 1 Tbsp. NuNaturals Stevia + 1/2 tsp. molasses)
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (I used 1/8 tsp.)
1 Tbsp. melted butter
1/3 cup dark corn syrup
1 Tbsp. flour
1 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Puree squashes (or pumpkin) and sweet potato in work bowl of food processor or blender. Drain overnight.* (See note below)
Place pizza stone or quarry tiles on bottom rack of oven, in lowest position. Heat oven to 400F about 15-30 minutes before you plan to bake the pie. Fit a 9” pie plate with your favorite pie crust and refrigerate.
In work bowl of food processor or in blender, combine pumpkin, sugar, salt, spices, butter and corn syrup. Pulse till very smooth and no lumps remain. Add remaining ingredients and pulse again till very smooth, scraping sides and bottom if needed. Remove pie crust from fridge; put a sheet of tinfoil underneath pie plate, then pour filling into prepared crust. Place pie and tinfoil on pizza stone.
Bake at 400F for 10 minutes, then, without opening oven door, lower temperature to 325F and bake an additional 25-30 minutes, or till filling is slightly puffed up around edges and pie crust is nicely browned. (Filling will be jiggly in center but will continue to cook as it cools.) Transfer pie to wire rack to cool, then refrigerate overnight, covered. Serve chilled pie with ice cream or whipped cream.
(A very nice spiced whipped cream topping can be made by whipping heavy cream with a little cinnamon, ginger, vanilla extract, and some dark corn syrup. Taste it and make it to your taste preference. I also made some leaves with the extra pie dough, rolled them in sugar instead of flour and baked them separately. I added them on the whipped cream as a garnish – see top photo. )
*You can drain pumpkin puree by placing a large coffee filter in a strainer, then putting the puree into that over a bowl. The liquid will drip through. This will take several hours, or place it, covered, overnight in the fridge. You will have to press it a bit to get all the liquid out.