04 November 2007

easy as pie

**Disclaimer: I am not a great cook. I'm pretty indifferent about cooking...and eating, really. I do like to bake and make soups. And, I'm not bad at either of those.

Ann Marie (who's sampled both soups and baking, so she knows what she's getting into) asked, so here it is. How I make pumpkin pie, even in Russia:

This is an easy, always works, pie crust. I know it's counter-intuitive to those of us who think cold-cold-cold when making pie crust, but it really works.

Hot Water Pie Crusts (it makes two):

1 cup (225 g) -1T shortening (I use butter) 1/4 c hot water 1 T milk 2 1/4 c all purpose flour 1/2 t salt

Put shortening in a bowl. (I chop the butter into cubes that are about...1") Pour milk and hot water over it. With a fork, break up the shortening. Tilt blow and beat quickly (I've used both a fork and my Braun zhhh-zher thing) until the mixture looks like whipped cream. Add flour and salt and mix well (with a fork or your hands) forming a dough that cleans the bowl.

Divide in half and chill the dough for about 15-30 minutes. Then roll out. **This dough works best if you roll it out using waxed paper.** Don't roll it too thin.

The pumpkin filling (the way we made it on Thursday...though this is only one way):

Cut a gutted pumpkin in half. Put the halves, rounded, skin side up, in a casserole dish that has about a half inch of water in it. Bake until the pumpkin is cooked through.

Scoop out pumpkin, trying not to collect the juice. (Some people suggest straining it through a paper towel or a coffee filter to dry it out. I don't do this.) Mash the pumpkin with a potato masher. (You could also rice it or zhhh it.) Place 1 cup in a bowl. (The rest can be frozen or used in other recipes. Try Elle's curry pumpkin soup!)

Add 2 cups milk or cream (I've made it with skimmed milk, 33% cream, and various combinations. You choose.), 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 t cinnamon, 1/2 t nutmeg, 1/4 t salt and 1T molasses.

Mix well, pour into pie shell and bake for ages. It takes about 2 hours here. Bake at a higher temp initially to set the crust and then reduce the heat to let the filling set. (It is advised that the filling not boil as that will make it watery, but I let mine boil the last time or two and it was fine.) Ideally, you should bake it until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. But, I tend to just bake mine until the crust and the skin on top of the pie are nicely browned. Then, I take it out and let it cool.

**This pie will not set as firmly as the canned pumpkin + evaporated milk pies...but it's soooo good! I like it better. And, it is very suitable for breakfast. Pie for breakfast is recommended by a highly regarded nutritional expert (umm, me). It's great!

I think I need to go make another pumpkin pie...and maybe an apple one...


Anonymous said...

mmm sounds good - serve some to your sw when she visits!!!

Rachael said...

Pie for breakfast is the absolute best. It's a long standing family tradition in our house. We always make extra for Christmas and Thanksgiving so we can have it the next a.m. (And pumpkin is my fave!)

I'm oh so impressed that you made REAL pumpkin pie.

And, it's snowing there already??!! And you're HAPPY? You're a special breed. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Thank you! You're still the only woman I know who can whip up homemade brownies in 3 minutes. Insane.

Jennefer said...

I think I am going to have to make this now. You made me.

Becky and Keith said...

homemade brownies in 3 mins?? For real? yummmmmmmmmmmmmm...... I love pumpkin pie and will definitely have to try this!

Anonymous said...

Hey, thanks for the pumpkin pie recipe! This is our first year having Thanksgiving on our own out here on the Arctic and I was wondering how I was going to pull off Thanksgiving! Now I just need to find a pumpkin...hmm. Ya never know what will turn up from week to week in the shops. I actually did make apple a couple times this past week for company. Tis the season. Looking forward to hearing how the SW visit goes!

Anonymous said...

I am remembering the apple pie you made for me almost exactly 10 years ago. The crust was excellent. And my baby smiled at you. Love, Nif

ferenge mama said...

ok, did i hear something about brownies in 3 minutes?

more about that, please...