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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Testing...pumpkin pie

The finished product!
Not as pretty maybe as the one on the Libby's can,
but it does smell amazing.

Here is the pre-baked version.
You can tell that the crust isn't exactly uniform.

When the head baker in your family (that would be my Mom) tells you to go by the recipe on the can for pumpkin pie, you don't waiver.

So, today I'm making a test pie, a few days early, so I can make sure what I'll be serving my family is first quality. I will need to try several pieces for quality control, most likely.

Here is the filling recipe from the Libby's pumpkin can (or calabaza, if you prefer).

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
1 unbaked 9" deep dish pie shell

You mix the sugar, salt and spices together, then set them aside. Beat your eggs and then add the spices and pumpkin, stir them in. Then stir in your evaporated milk and you are all done. Pour this into your unbaked pie shell (recipe follows) and bake 15 minutes at 425 degrees then reduce temperature to 350 and bake another 40-50 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean (my mom says the temperature reduction is very important, or your pie will be like "leather" on top).

Classic Crisco pie crust

2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 stick of Crisco shortening (3/4 cup shortening)
4-8 tablespoons ice cold water

Put your flour and salt in a bowl, then "cut" in shortening using a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should resemble coarse crumbs with pea sized pieces remaining. Then sprinkle in two tablespoons of water and stir the mixture with a fork and continue to add 1 tablespoon of water until your dough comes together. Then separate it into two portions and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling out.

I found that I should have refrigerated the crust more than the required time. It was very hard to keep together in one piece (it actually ended up in the pie pan stuck together manually by me) and it's not the prettiest pie crust, but it's going to taste delicious. Also I found that I needed to use about 1 portion plus half of another to get enough to fill the pie pan. I just pitched the other half, but you could save it and make some empanadas. Mmmm.

Thanks Mom for keeping me on track with your recipe tips (follow the recipe on the can). If any of you out there make pumpkin pie and want to share your pumpkin filling and crust variations with me, please please please send them my way.

Also, sometime soon I'm tempted to try a pie crust that uses a combination of butter and lard to avoid the trans fats in shortening. I just don't like the idea of using a fat that's been processed so much.

Happy Baking. And, Happy Thanksgiving.

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