Source: Lenore Estrada, Three Babes Bakeshop
MAKE IN ADVANCE
1 pre-baked pie shell (allow to cool after prebaking)
Freshly cooked pumpkin
Measuring cups and spoons
Glass or metal pie plate with angled sides – never ceramic and never a slope-sided pan
Sheet pan with a rim for cooking the pumpkin
Immersion blender or food processor
1 stick (¼ pound) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more for buttering pie plate
½ cup ice water
1½ teaspoons cider vinegar
1½ cups flour
1½ teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
Cream (for brushing the crust)
To prepare the crust:
- Cut the butter into ½ inch cubes and place in the freezer. Measure out water and stir in the vinegar, sugar and salt until dissolved. Place in the freezer to chill.
- Measure the flour into a chilled bowl. Remove butter from freezer and, using a pastry cutter, two knives, or your fingers, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
- Use your hands to break up any large pieces of butter. Sprinkle the flour and butter with the water and vinegar mixture, a little at a time, tossing the mixture at first and then pressing together with your hands, until the dough just comes together.
- Pat into a disk, wrap with plastic, and chill for at least 1 hour or up to two days in the refrigerator (you can also store the dough in the freezer for up to several months, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap).
- Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough, then fit into a buttered pie plate. Trim excess dough so that the overhand just brushes the top of the counter (save the trimmings, and form into a square or rectangular dish; wrap well with plastic and freezer for another future use).
- Chill the dough in the pan for at least 1 hour. The more time you can allow your rolled dough to relax and chill, the better!
To finish the crust:
- Roll the edge of the bottom crust under tightly, so that it becomes a rope that rests comfortably on the rim of the pie plate.
- Press the outer crust between two knuckles of one hand on the inside of the pie tin and the thumb of the other on the outside of the pie tin to flute the crust. Place the pie shell in the freezer to freeze solid.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line the frozen pie shell with aluminum foil or parchment paper, then fill with rice, beans, or ceramic pie weights, making sure to gently push the weights against the sides of the parchment or foil, to keep the sides of the crust from collapsing.
- Bake for 20 minutes until the crust is lightly browned. Set aside to cool while mixing the filling.
1 medium pumpkin
Tip: Use a variety with firm flesh – cinderellas, sugar pie pumpkins, or even kabocha squash work well! Stay away from jack-o-lantern pumpkins, which are stringy and lacking in flavor!
- Cut a medium pumpkin or large squash in half horizontally. Scrape out the seeds, then place cut-side down on a baking dish (use one with an edge!).
- Pour a small amount of water onto the pan so that the pumpkins won’t burn onto the bottom of it. Bake at 350ºF for 60-80 minutes, until the flesh inside is very soft.
- Once you remove the pumpkin halves from the oven, flip them over use an immersion blender or food processer to blend until completely smooth.
- You’ll need around 2 ¼ cups of pumpkin puree to make a pie, so if your pumpkin is on the small side, consider baking two! You can always freeze the puree to use for a soup or for baking later on.
15-ounce freshly cooked pumpkin puree (you can also use canned organic pumpkin!)
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon brandy
¾ cup brown sugar
1 ¼ teaspoons cinnamon
1 ¼ teaspoons ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- With an immersion blender (or a whisk), blend the eggs with the pumpkin, cream and brandy.
- In another bowl, mix the brown sugar together with the spices and salt, and then add into the pumpkin mixture and blend with the immersion blender.
- Pour into pre-baked shell, and bake for about 45-50 minutes. Remove when the center is only slightly wobbly. Be sure to cool your pie completely before refrigerating it.