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pie for me
3 classic pies for the holidays
by Yee-Fan Sun | 1
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continued from page 2
When it comes to pumpkin pie, I'm not a big fan of anything too fancy. I
like my pumpkin pie to taste good and pumpkiny, which means keeping the
spices simple and skipping extra additions like pecans. I've made this
pie both with canned pumpkin and fresh puree; while I concede that the
fresh puree may have had slightly more flavor, the difference was pretty
negligible, and during the busy holiday season, I see little point in
bothering with the extra step of roasting and mashing pumpkin yourself.
Should your inner masochist demand it, by all means substitute with
1 basic piecrust
1 small can pumpkin puree (14-16 oz. as opposed to the big 32 oz. size
cans, or about 1¾ to 2 cups worth of pumpkin puree)
1 12-oz. can of evaporated milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 425F. Roll out the pie crust and transfer it to the
pie pan. Press the crust firmly into place, trim the dough to about a
1" overhand all around. Save the trimmed scraps; tuck the excess
dough under itself to form a lip all around the edge of the pie plate.
Decorate the edge however you like.
Prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. Now get a piece of
foil that's twice as big as the whole crust; fold it in half to make a
piece that covers the crust. Slather one side of the foil with butter
and place it butter-side down on top of the crust; press it in place.
Now pile in some pie weights, dried beans or raw rice over the foil to
keep the pie crust from bubbling up too much as it bakes. (I use about a
cup and half of rice, then save it after it's cooled for future pie
Slide the crust into the oven and bake for 12 minutes. Pull out the pie
plate, carefully lift off the foil and weights, and continue baking the
crust at 375F for another 10 minutes or so, until the crust is lightly
While the crust is baking away, you can start working on the filling.
Combine the sugars, cinnamon and ginger in a pot. Beat in the eggs, then
stir in the pumpkin; add the evaporated milk and mix well. Gently warm
this up on the stove over medium-low heat, giving it a good stir
occasionally; you don't want to bring it to a boil, but just get the
mixture heated through.
You can use the saved dough trimmings to make a decorative
pastry (or pastries) to adorn your finished pumpkin pie.
Just roll out your scrap of dough. Either by hand or with
cookie cutters, cut it into a decorative shape. Place on a
baking sheet; brush with a little milk and sprinkle with
sugar. Bake at 375F until the pastry is a lovely golden
brown (the baking time will depend upon how thin you've
rolled your dough; you'll probably want to start peeking in
on it after 10 minutes). Let cool, and pop on the baked
When the pie crust is done, place it on a baking sheet. Pour in the
filling (you might have some leftover; if so, set it aside for now
-- after the pie is done, you can pour the leftover filling into a
small baking dish, pop the dish into a larger pan filled with an inch or
so of water, and bake the custard until it's set.).
Slide the whole thing back into the oven -- gently, so as not to lose all
the custard filling -- and bake for another 30-40 minutes, until the
mixture is just set. It should still jiggle a bit; you don't want to
bake it so long that the filling gets dried out.
stop: more pie goodnes this way!
. laze . home.