With Sweet Dreams and Even Sweeter Days

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Classic Pumpkin Pie

For the past two years, each autumn pumpkin and I... we've been doing a dance.

For the first couple months of fall there is absolutely no pumpkin to be found anywhere in my area, and I mean anywhere.  I spend my days stopping by random supermarkets just to check and see if they have any, but to no avail.

I also spend those days looking at my different pumpkin recipes and yearning for all of them, all the while rationing the one can of pumpkin I bought in the spring on a whim.  And then at the end of October/beginning of November, as though nothing has even happened, pumpkin is suddenly everywhere... in massive amounts no less.

And maybe... well maybe.... I go just a little overboard.  Whether this is a clever ploy by the pumpkin people or an actual shortage that just falls at the same time every year, they have me so distressed by the time pumpkin comes out that I buy way too much.

I'm not confirming or denying that there is currently a whole shelf in my pantry solely devoted to canned pumpkin.

What I will confirm is that because of this, I have some killer pumpkin recipes coming up for you all.  If you love pumpkin like me, this is great; we're in business.  And if you don't, I promise I have many non-pumpkin options thrown in there between for you too!

This year for Thanksgiving, even though I was asked to make some gooey pumpkin butter cake, I couldn't get the thought of pumpkin pie out of my mind as well.  At first I was thinking about a Bailey's pumpkin pie (because is adding alcohol to anything ever a bad idea?), but in the end it was a classic pumpkin pie that won out in my mind.

Maybe it was nostalgia.  Just something about the holidays made me feel like this was the right choice for our table.  And it was.  Boy was it ever.

This pie is phenomenal.  Pumpkin pie is one of my absolute favorite treats and this was actually my first time making one from scratch since I started baking (my list of recipes to try is very very long).  I had a few variations in my mind to try and I'm so glad I went with this version, it exceeded my expectations on all accounts.

So even though Thanksgiving itself might be over, the holidays are a perfect time to consider giving this pie a try.  And I recommend you do just that.  Topped with some freshly made whipped cream, or just left plain in all its natural glory, this pie will make any meal very memorable.

And speaking of Thanksgiving, I'd like to take this moment to say a little bit of what I'm thankful for this year (or at least some of it... because a completed list is something I don't think I'd ever be able to finish).

-For my home, a truly warm place where everyone is welcome and laughs are present every day as well as love.
-For my family, who are always supportive no matter what life brings.

- More specifically for a mom that is always up for 8am drives to South Philadelphia just to get some donuts I heard were amazing.
-  For all my friends, who are too far spread to ever be able to combine in one picture, but who make my days not only bearable but a joy to go through.
-  For this weirdo, without whom my days would be much more calm and much more boring.

-  For all the opportunities I'm given, and the moments when I can improve on actually taking each and every one of them.
-  For this blog and the chance to do something I truly love, along with the people who enjoy reading the results of it and have encouraged me all along.
-And for something as simple as this on my iphone.

Because sometimes, this is enough. 

 I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy!

Classic Pumpkin Pie
Servings: 8-10

- 1 pie crust, rolled out and fitted to a 9-inch pie plate

- 2 eggs
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch of ground cloves
- 1 1/2 cups canned pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
- 1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
(whipped cream for serving - optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Poke holes in the bottom of pie all over with fork.  Place in freezer for 15 minutes.  Line pie with tinfoil and pour in baking beads, (or dried beans or rice) and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and beads and bake an additional 10 minutes more.  Let cool completely and in the meantime, start making the filling.  Keep oven at 375 degrees.  In a bowl whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, pumpkin, and eggs.  When combined, add evaporated milk and mix until smooth.  Pour into partially baked pie crust (mine almost overflowed so i left a smidgen of the filling out - use your best judgement).  If a large amount bubbles converge in the center of the of the pie, skim these off before putting it in the oven.  This will look slightly like foam and if left with make the pie less beautiful.  (Of course this is totally optional but it really does make for a much more beautiful pie and only takes a few seconds.)  Place pie in oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the edges are set and the center is only slightly wobbly (mine took around 40).  Let cool completely and then refrigerate until serving, topping with whipped cream if desired right before serving.  Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from: Martha Stewart's Pies and Tarts

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