Monday, November 21, 2011

Pumpkin Pie

I got this recipe from a friend who lives in America and it is fantastic. I tried another recipe before this and thought that pumpkin pie is just not for me. I changed my mind!

1 1/3 cup smooth pumpkin, 1 1/3 cup sweet condensed milk (1 tin is approx = 1 cup), 1 egg, 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp cloves, 1 cup hot water. Pour into 9" pie shell. Bake at 375F 55 to 65 minutes. (Center will still move slightly) Cool and enjoy. (Mashed pumpkin will hold 5 days in refrgerator)

To make the smooth pumpkin I did the following:
Put butternut or pumpkin blocks (about 500g) in a heavy-based pot. Sprinkle about 1/3 - 1/2 cup sugar over and let it stand overnight. It will draw water from the butternut. The next day, let the butternut simmer slowly in the same liquid until soft. Do Not add more water. Only if you see it's going to burn before it's soft, add a couple of tablespoons.
When the butternut is soft, drain it in a sieve and let it stand over the pot for another hour or so to make sure all liquid has drained off.
Use a potato masher and mash the pumpkin very well.

Pie shell:
For the pie shell I made my own sweet shortcrust pastry from Julia Child's first book.
Page 586:
142g (5oz) plain white flour
113g (4oz) chilled butter cut into small pieces
1 1/2 tbsp castor sugar
1/8 tsp salt
4 to 4 1/2 tbsp cold water

Page 127 (instructions for general shortcrust pastry) - Summarized here
Mix flour, castor sugar and salt
Rub the butter into the flour with your fingers until resembling large oat flakes. Do not overdo as butter will be blended in later.
Add water and blend quickly with one hand, fingers held together. Do this until most ingredients are folded into a body of dough.
Press dough firmly into roughly shaped ball. Must just hold together, be plaible but not damp and sticky.
Place dough on lightly floured pastry board (I use a marble one). With the HEEL of one hand (NOT the palm - it's too warm), rapidly press the pastry two spoonfuls bits down on the board away from you in firm, quick smears. This constitutes final blending of fat and flour and is called fraisage. (What a cool word)

With a spatula (or egg lifter), gather the dough again in a mass, knead briefly into a fairly smooth round ball. Sprinkle lightly with flour and put in grease-proof paper (or I put it in a plastic zipped bag). Put in fridge for minimum 1-2 hours.
*** Uncooked pastry will keep 3 - 4 days in fridge or deep-frozen for several weeks ( I LOVE THAT!)

I par-bake my pastry shell following the blind-bake method.
NOTE: I don't completely bake my pastry (the wiki-link says 15 minutes). I follow Julia Child's instructions, page 131:  Bake at 400F (200C) for 8-9 minutes, remove foil with dry beans, prick pastry now and return to oven for 2-3 minutes.