Things are a’ happening here on the blog today! We are having a #virtualpumpkinparty!!! Sara from Cake Over Steak put together this super fun October round up of some of the pumpkiniest pumpkin treats and eats around and I’m so excited to be a part of it! Head over to her site to check them all out!
So, let’s talk about this pie. DIS PIE. Just as the sun was setting, on the last day I had to shoot, I dropped it. I dropped this pie on the ground. I always thought I’m the kind of person that wouldn’t cry “over spilt milk”, but this was full on the worst moment of my blog life for about 17 seconds and I’ve since been telling myself that it’s super different to have cried over spilt pie(???). Oh, you slippery non-stick pie pan!! The filling cracked and part of it flopped up onto the edge of the crust. I stood there for about 3 seconds, just staring at it and then kind of started laughing and crying at the same time. But Roy reminded me it was totally fixable since I would be covering the top with burnt sugar. I pushed the San Andreas pumpkin fault line back together, sprinkled on a good coating of sugar, and burnt the bubbling heck out of it!
To be fair, I learned a lot from making this pie over and over again. I tried out different pie doughs and tested whether I preferred a canned or fresh pumpkin filling. It always amazes me how much research can be done on a single type of pie, how many different recipes and versions there are or tips and tricks that people swear by. I must have spent hours thinking about the dough alone!
Pumpkin Pie #1, we’ll call it PP1, started with a chocolate pie crust and maple bourbon filling adapted from Bon Appetit. The crust wasn’t very flakey or buttery and the filling was good but it didn’t taste that much different than a regular pumpkin pie. I did a little bit of research, and read this article and this one on the difference between using canned pumpkin and fresh pumpkin puree in a pie recipe. P.S. fresh pumpkin rocks!! So my second go, PP2, included fresh pumpkin and the Four and Twenty Blackbirds All Butter pie crust. Unfortunately, learning my way around that pie crust recipe took a few more tries. Both PP2 and PP3’s crust shrunk and were virtually unusable. PP4 was eventually the winner, well, minus the slight setback of dropping it 😀
The best thing about this pie is the fresh pumpkin (and the spices really set it off too). I think it’s all probably personal preference, but there is such a huge difference between the texture and taste of canned vs. fresh pumpkin. Canned has a much stronger flavor, that really isn’t entirely “pumpkin” tasting either. It’s also more gelatinous and smooth, but kind of smooth in a not so nice way. The fresh pumpkin tastes real and natural and best of all, so homemade I kept asking myself why I hadn’t ever tried pumpkin pie like this before. The All Butter pie crust also knocked my socks off too. It’s so completely flakey and to be honest was much easier to put together than other pie crust recipes I’ve used. The days leading up to Thanksgiving I’ll probably be that person at the supermarket telling people to make their pumpkin pies with fresh pumpkin puree.
Pumpkin Orange Brûlée Pie
For the pie dough
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1 stick (8 tbsp) cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup cold water with a few ice cubes
1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
For the fresh pumpkin filling
1 medium sugar pie pumpkin (equivalent to at least 425g of fresh pureed pumpkin)
2 tbsp plain flour
1 orange, zested
a pinch of ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
100g soft, dark brown sugar
300g creme fresh, beaten
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks, beaten
1. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line a baking tray with foil and set aside. Cut off the stem of the sugar pumpkin and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits inside and discard. Lightly salt the two halves of the pumpkin inside. Place on the baking trap, the inside facing up and bake for 30-40 minutes until the pumpkin meat is soft and the skin removes easily. Let the pumpkin cool until it’s not too hot to touch. Remove the skin and any last stringy bits. Cut the cooked pumpkin into cubes and puree in a food processor or with a hand blender. Set aside.
2. To make the pie dough, stir the flour, salt, and granulated sugar together in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in the cubes of cold butter until the mixture resembles cornmeal and there are still some larger pieces of butter.
3. Add the cold water and apple cider vinegar to a small cup and stir together. Add the cold liquid to the flour mixture one tablespoon at a time, mixing with a spatula or bench scraper. Stop adding liquid when the mixture becomes shaggy and holds its shape when pressed together.
4. Dump the shaggy dough mixture out onto a work surface. Use your palm to press parts of the dough down and away from you, then squeezing it back together with your hands. Repeat a few times, then shape the dough into a thick disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight. The crust can be made and kept for up to 3 days in the fridge and 1 month in the freezer.
5. When the dough is ready to handle again, lightly flour a work surface and roll the disc out, continuing to rotate the disc as you do. It should be large enough to have at least 2-3 inches of overhang when placed in the pie dish. Transfer the dough to the pie pan, making sure it sits flush to the edges of the pan. Trim off any excess overhang.
6. Roll the overhang underneath the dough around the edge of the pan. Make sure to keep this edge thick and not too close to the sides of the pan to prevent it from sinking down while baking. Crimp the edges and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
7. Preheat the oven to 350°F. For the filling, whisk all the ingredients together until evenly combined. Pour the mixture into the frozen pie dish and bake for 40-50 minutes until the center of the pie jiggles slightly. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before serving.
8. Just before serving, sprinkle a generous even coating of caster sugar around the top of the pumpkin filling. Use a kitchen torch to brûlée the top. You can also cover the edges of the crust with foil to protect it from burning. Wait a few minutes for the burnt sugar to harden, then serve immediately!