Pumpkin Pie

by Jennifer

First off, pumpkin pie is not just for Thanksgiving, it’s delicious in any cold weather month (I confess, I haven’t ventured to make it during spring or summer).  Second, pie dough and I do not have a good history, but I dug out this pie dough recipe from my files and decided if it was really “fool-proof” I might as well try it.  It was fool-proof, very easy, and fantastic.  And third, I have tested many a pumpkin pie recipe in my time and this one, from King Arthur Flour’s catalog, is the best I’ve tried.

Pie serves anywhere from 2 – 8 people, depending on how much you love pumpkin pie and your willingness to share it.

Fool-Proof Pie Dough – adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I’ve also made this with white whole wheat flour with good results)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • 6 TBS cold unsalted butter, cut into thin slices
  • 1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into small cubes
  • 2 TBS cold vodka
  • 2 TBS cold water

In a food processor, process the flour, salt and sugar, pulsing twice, to combine well.

Add the butter and shortening and process until

the dough looks like coarse meal, with a few pea-sized clumps of butter remaining;  scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula and redistribute evenly around the blade, then process again, in a few quick pulses.

Sprinkle on the vodka and water and pulse just a few times, until the dough comes together.

Form dough into a 4” disk (it will be a little tacky) and wrap well in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes and up to two days.

Roll out on a lightly floured surface until about 11” in diameter, for a 10” pie plate, or 10” in diameter for a 9” pie plate.  Use the rolling pin to help “roll up” some of the dough and transfer it to a pie plate.

Fold the overhanging edge under and crimp.

Pumpkin Pie  – adapted from King Arthur Flour catalog

Makes 1 10” pie (can make a 9” pie but it’s almost overflowing the pie pan, and you lose  some of the good crust part)

  • 12 oz. can reduced-fat evaporated milk
  • 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 TBS corn syrup
  • 2 TBS unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • pie dough for single-crust pie

Combine evaporated milk through cloves in a blender and puree well.  Chill mixture, in blender, for at least an hour, up to 4 hours.  Add eggs to blender and puree well again.  Preheat oven to 450 with a rimmed baking sheet on the middle rack.

Pour mixture into prepared pie crust.  Place pie on the hot baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 35 minutes, or until pie barely jiggles when gently shaken.  Check crust when you reduce the temperature;  you may need to cover the crust with a pie shield or aluminum foil strips if it’s getting too browned.

Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold, preferably with whipped cream.

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