Thursday, July 25, 2013

A little lighter: Ina Garten's Ultimate Pumpkin Pie and Perfect Pie Crust

There was a heat wave in New York City last week, so it's fitting that I decided I HAD TO bake a pumpkin pie to console myself (go figure). I used two recipes from Ina Garten's newest book, Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust, which I highly recommend. This pie is very easy to make and has that perfectly spiced, rich pumpkin flavor and flaky, buttery crust that you want when you are craving pumpkin pie. 

I lightened up the recipe just a bit by adding whole wheat flour to the crust and substituting milk for cream in the filling. 

Ina Garten's Ultimate Pumpkin Pie and Perfect Pie Crust 
From Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust

1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup cold vegetable shortening
1/2 cup ice water

*Dried beans or pie weights for blind baking 

Measure out the iced water and shortening separately. Dice the butter into small blueberry-sized chunks and place into a bowl. Put the water and all the fats in your freezer while you prep the flour. Add flour, sugar and salt to your food processor and pulse a few times to combine. 

Add the butter and shortening, distributing over the entire surface of the flour as evenly as possible 

Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is pea-sized. I went a little further and the crust was still fantastic.

While the machine is still running, pour in the ice water and pulse just until the dough begins to form a ball. My food processor died before I could finish, so I brought the dough the rest of the way together by hand.

Dump the dough out onto a floured surface, bring it together, and roll it into a ball. Wrap it tightly in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes. If you don't have a food processor or prefer to work by-hand, just combine the flour salt and sugar in a bowl and then cut in the fats and water with a fork or pastry blender. 

Preheat your oven to 425. 

To shape your crust, take about half the dough and roll it into a circle on a well-floured surface. Carefully lift the dough into your pie pan and press it in gently. Crimp the edges or use the tines of a fork to score them. 

Line your crust with parchment and fill to about three-quarters with dried beans (be sure to save them to use again as pie weights). 

Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the beans/parchment and prick the crust with a fork. Bake for 5 more minutes. 

NOTE: The edges got a bit dark once the pie was finally baked, so in the future I would either cover the edges for the final 5 minutes or just do 10 minutes with the beans and then 5 without.

Reduce the oven temp to 350. 

Pie Filling: 
15-ounces (1 can) pumpkin puree (not pie filling) 
½ cup light brown sugar, packed 
¼ cup granulated sugar 
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 
¼ teaspoon ground ginger 
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg 
½ teaspoon kosher salt 
Zest of two small oranges
1 1/2 cups milk 
2 tablespoons whiskey or dark rum

Whisk the pumpkin, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, orange zest, eggs, milk, and whiskey together and pour into your pre-baked crust. 

Bake for 55 minutes, until the filling is set and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

This pie tastes best served at room temperature or chilled with whipped cream or ice cream!