Making a pie is a lot of work ?
That’s what I once thought. NO WAY would I be able to create a pie from scratch and have it A) Turn out like the picture (OK, almost) and B) actually taste good.
Three years ago or so I set out to make the very first Thanksgiving pumpkin pie for my family that was made from scratch. THE VERY FIRST! Talk about intimidating. There are many ways to go about it, and many short cuts:
- Premade dough
- Premade filling
- Store bought
- Precut store bought (really?)
But I wanted to make it my way (somewhat, ahem, healthier), with the help from Martha of course. Side note: If you are ever in the business of making something from scratch and aren’t sure where to start, always consult Martha. Countless times I have started with her recipes and they have never failed me.
This recipe for pumpkin pie was derived from Martha’s website. I would provide the link, but unfortunately I cannot remember which one it is and there are 317 of them! Of course she recommended you even make the pureed pumpkin from scratch, but I thought I had assigned myself quite the task already so I DID buy the canned version of the pumpkin puree.
The crust was simple: flour, butter, salt, water. Process –> BAM. This is now my go to for any dessert requiring a crust. The food processor does most of the work and the rolling pin does the rest. No sweat!
The filling component was almost a let down in that it was SO simple to put together. I simply added the ingredients in a bowl and mixed.
All that was left was pre-baking the crust, adding the filling and leaving it up to the oven to do the rest. Doesn’t that seem simple? It was.
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 TBSP cornstarch
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups evaporated skim milk
1 1/4 cup flour- 3/4 cup White, 1/2 cup Whole Wheat
1. Make pie crust by blending flour, butter, and salt in the food processor. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time. Tiny balls will form, but can be pressed together to create one ball of dough. Refrigerate for about a half an hour before continuing.
2. Preheat the oven to 375.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the larger disk of dough into a 14-inch round. Fit round into a 10-inch pie plate; trim and fold dough under flush with rim of pie plate. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes.Whisk 1 egg and heavy cream in a small bowl; set aside.
3. If decor is desired, Roll out remaining disk of dough to 1/8 inch thick. Using a 1-inch leaf-shaped cookie cutter (or get creative with a paring knife!), cut out leaves. Brush edges of pie shell with egg wash. Arrange leaves around edges, pressing to adhere. Brush leaves with egg wash. Freeze for an additional 10 minutes.
4. Cut a large circle of parchment paper; fit into pie plate, extending about edges. Fill with pie weights (or rice, or beans, whatever you have on hand).
5. Bake pie shell 10 minutes. Remove weights and parchment; bake 5 minutes more. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
6. Transfer pumpkin to a large bowl. Add brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, nutmeg, 3 eggs, and evaporated milk; whisk until combined.
7. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Place pie on a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer pumpkin mixture to pie shell. Bake until all but the center is set, 50 to 60 minutes. Let pie cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into wedges, and serve with whipped cream.
Of course you can add little decorative measures like my acorns and leaf motif (which I could definitely use some work on…or maybe some cookie cutters to do that for me too) and make your own whipped topping (which I HIGHLY recommend. Worth.Every.Calorie), but for your basic pumpkin pie, this was quite simple.
The best part is watching everyone dig in! Knowing that you made something that some consider impossible, and on top of that people are willing to eat it?! Its a wonderful feeling. You should try it sometime if you haven’t already.
Have you ever made a pie from scratch? Tell me about your experience below!