Pie!

This, this is about pumpkin pie. The real deal. This is one of my specialties. I got a hug from a manager who doesn’t like to be touched after receiving this pie. That’s how good my pies are. Part of the deliciousness comes from my crust. I don’t buy crusts (this goes along with my feelings about homemade cakes and icings…), partially because they are so friggin’ easy to make.

Pie Crust

2/3 cup cold butter
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
5-6 tbsp cold water (iced)

Pumpkin Pie Filling

1 cup dark brown sugar
½ cup sugar
4 eggs
¼ cup molasses

1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
½ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger

1 29 oz can of Pumpkin
2 12 oz cans of Evaporated milk.

 

Pie crust is simultaneously very tricky and shockingly easy. There is a trick to knowing what looks right and what feels right – but the steps themselves are simple and easy to learn. Fill a wide cup or mug with cold water, drop a few ice cubes in. Put this to the side. In a bowl wide enough to get your hands in dump the flour and salt in together. Cut the butter into small pieces, I usually cut the stick in half long ways and then cut 1/3 tbsp slices. It doesn’t need to be precise; the point is to make small pieces. Put these pieces into the flour. Now, I want you to get in there and do this with your bare hands, some people use pastry cutters and I will tell you this is unnecessary. You will never learn what pie dough feels like if you don’t do it by hand. Using a rubbing motion (thumb rubbing against fingers, from ring to index) make thin plates of butter in the flour. This will tire out your hands until you get use to it. What you are looking for in small pieces of butter incorporated into the flour, roughly the size of a pea, but flat. Even though I am a strong advocate of using your hands, once the flour/butter is a consistent texture – STOP. Go no further. Remember that cup of water? Now is when you use it. There is some scientific reason why you want cold butter, and the cold water keeps the butter cold, but I frankly don’t remember it. 1 tablespoon at a time, sprinkle it into your dough and work the dough with your hands. It usually takes about 5-6 tablespoons for the dough to come together. Lightly knead the dough, and turn it out on a counter. Only knead it until it is smooth. This recipe makes two crusts, so cut the ball in half and roll each out.

Once you have rolled out the dough, put it in a pie tin, trim and crimp the edges. Prick the inside and bake for 15-20 minutes at 425. Let cool and sit to the side.

If this is confusing, ask me and I will teach you how to make pie crust. It’s not as if there is anyone who reads this who doesn’t know me personally.

Pie filling is much simpler. Mix it all together. I generally do it in the order the ingredients are listed. Mix well. Be aware that evaporated milk DOES have a shelf life, and check the dates on the cans before you go get other supplies, so when it comes time to make pie you don’t have to through them all out and buy overpriced evaporated milk at 7-11. Clearly you didn’t plan ahead, and baking in my life is frequently done for events. For which I am already late. *shrugs*

Pour the filling into those tasty crusts. I’m going to warn you that this quantity of filling should make 3-4 pies. Again with the planning ahead problem. I threw some pretzel crusts together and stuck it in cupcake pans and poured the pumpkin on top. It’ll probably taste good.

Bake the pies for 15 minutes at 425. Reduce the temperature to 350 and bake for another 45 minutes to an hour.

(Pictures to come, when I get around to it.)

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