Thanksgiving Recap Continued!
With equal parts pride and embarrassment, I’m pleased to report that after 22 years, I made my first contribution to Thanksgiving dinner last week. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been in charge of setting the table and helping with dishes for years, but when it comes to culinary experience, I sit lowest on the totem pole – way below my grandma’s honey-glazed ham and my mom’s highly anticipated Yorkshire pudding.
Thanks to a simple recipe graciously faxed over by my grandma (let’s just say she knows that my kitchen talent is a little underdeveloped), I am happy to report that the pie was a huge success! Despite one accidental egg white and poor time management on the dough, my dessert was the first to be devoured by thankful family members! In a season abundant with leftovers, I’ll take it as a good sign that my pie dish was literally licked clean.
My next culinary adventure? Potato latkes! Check back next week to see if I can take these new-found baking skills to the frying pan.
Perfect Pumpkin Pie (courtesy Williams-Sonoma Kitchen)
For the dough:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose ﬂour
3/4 tsp. salt
3 tsp. sugar
12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter,
cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 1/2 to 6 Tbs. ice water
1 egg, lightly beaten
For the ﬁlling:
2 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (from about
1 1/2 cans, each 15 oz.)
3/4 cup ﬁrmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. all-purpose ﬂour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
3 whole eggs plus 2 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup milk
1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbs. brandy
Lightly sweetened whipped cream for serving
To make the dough, in the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt and sugar and pulse to blend. Add the butter and process in short pulses until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 3 Tbs. of the ice water and pulse twice. The dough should hold together when squeezed with your fingers but should not be sticky. If it is crumbly, add more water, 1 tsp. at a time, pulsing twice after each addition.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface. Cut off one-third of the dough and shape into a disk. Shape the remaining two-thirds of the dough into a disk. Wrap the disks separately with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Position a rack in the lower third of an oven. Place a cookie sheet on the rack. Preheat to 400°F.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand for 5 minutes. Place the large dough disk between 2 sheets of lightly floured waxed paper and roll out into a 12-inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Brush off the excess flour. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch Emile Henry deep-dish pie dish and fit the dough into the dish. Trim the edges, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold under the excess dough and, using your thumb, decoratively flute the edges. Using a fork, gently poke holes in several places on the bottom of the crust.
Place the small dough disk between the same 2 sheets of waxed paper, flouring the paper if needed, and roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thick. Using a 1 1/2-inch leaf cutter, cut out about 32 small leaves. Using the back of a paring knife, score leaf veins on each cutout. Brush the edges of the piecrust with the beaten egg, then arrange the leaves on the edges. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 15 minutes.
Line the piecrust with parchment paper or aluminum foil and fill with pie weights. Place the pie dish on the preheated cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the parchment and weights and bake until the crust is light golden brown, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely, about 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.
Meanwhile, make the filling: In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Add the flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves and whisk until smooth. Add the eggs and egg yolks and whisk until combined. Add the cream, milk, vanilla and brandy and whisk until smooth. Pour the filling into the cooled piecrust.
Place the pie dish on the preheated cookie sheet. Bake until the filling is set, about 1 hour and 15 minutes, covering the edges of the crust with foil if they get too brown. Transfer the pie dish to the wire rack and let the pie cool completely, about 4 hours, before serving. Accompany each slice with a dollop of whipped cream. Serves 8 to 10.