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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

THE BEST Pumpkin Pie


Pump. Kin. Pie!!!!!!! I get excited about it right around September, but not just any pumpkin pie. I mean. I don't mean to sound as snobby as I am, but keep that Costco giganto monstrosity away from me.
Ahem.
Please...
That is not what I'm talking about when I say I like pumpkin pie.

I know you're all sick of emphatic statements like THE BEST Pumpkin Pie. Well I'm sorry, kind of, but I can't curb my enthusiasm for this pie. Can't. Won't. Etc.

My mother takes her pumpkin pie very, very seriously. (Hmmmm... wonder where I get it from...) Only my grandmother's will do. My grandmother isn't cheffy or particularly gourmet -- she uses the recipe from the back of the Libby's Pumpkin can. Which is a good recipe, but between you and me, this one is just so much better! If I tell you my mother likes it even better than Grandma's she will disavow all knowledge of such a statement, so I won't tell you that. Can't. Won't. Etc.

I think what I love most about it is the simplicity of the ingredients. Okay, I'm lying. What I love most about it is how it tastes, particularly the day after Thanksgiving. For breakfast. With whipped cream. While I listen to some Nat King Cole. And shake my head at all those crazies out there doing the Black Friday thing.

Crazies.

But the ingredients are simple and pure and completely delicious. Use the best quality ingredients you can find, and feel free to make your own pumpkin puree -- it's not hard and makes your pies something extra special. Use any crust recipe you like. Here's my favorite: All Butter Really Flaky Pie Dough. Bookmark that. Seriously. And use a good, fresh spice blend. I like Penzey's or to mix up my own using this recipe: Pumpkin Spice Blend.

I also love the texture. This is creamy and almost silky, but only if you don't overbake it. So watch it carefully to avoid that yucky, grainy, terrible thing that so many pumpkin pies have going on. Yes, I'm looking at you, Costco monster pie. You're the worst.

But give this recipe a shot. It's as simple as it can be, and definitely worth a special place at your Thanksgiving table!


Maple Spice Pumpkin Pie
recipe from the incomparable Aimee at Simple Bites

Ingredients:
1 prepared, unbaked 9" pie crust
4 eggs
1 c. heavy cream
1 1/4 c. pumpkin puree (homemade, if you have it!)
2/3 c. pure maple syrup (NOT pancake syrup. Make sure it's the real stuff.)
Seeds of 1 vanilla bean or 2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. pumpkin spice blend
Sweetened whipped cream, for serving

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350F. Keep the pie crust chilling in the refrigerator while you work on the pumpkin filling.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and cream until well blended. Add the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and spice blend to the pie filling and combine well.
Remove crust from the fridge and put it on the middle rack of the oven. Slide the rack out a couple of inches and pour the filling into the pie shell. Slowly, slide the oven rack back into place, being very careful not to spill the filling onto the bottom of the oven.**
Check pie after about 30 minutes and rotate, if necessary, to ensure even baking.
When the center of the pie has puffed up, and jiggles only slightly when the pan is moved, the pie is ready. This will take about one hour.
Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. When cooled to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve. (Up to three days in the fridge if well covered.)
Pie may also be well-wrapped and frozen for up to 8 weeks.

**If there is extra filling,you can pour it into a couple of ramekins and bake alongside your pie until set (they will set quicker than the pie, by virtue of the fact that they are smaller). Chill them, top with whipped cream and enjoy them as pumpkin custard. For breakfast. You have my permission.

PS: Double this recipe. I mean it! You'll want more than one.

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