Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin-Maple Pie with Homemade Whipped Cream

One of my favorite "food"holidays is coming up, and what's more Thanksgiving-esque than pumpkin pie? There's just something about a spicy, homemade pumpkin pie that makes you go, "Mmmmmm ... " No store bought pie can do that, and using premade filling from a can lags behind, too. Pumpkin pie is one of those foolproof, anyone-can-make pies, and this one is especially good.

Start off with a can of pumpkin. You can roast and puree your own if you want, but it's so easy to get good, consistent pumpkin in the can year-round. Plus, if it is around Thanksgiving, your oven is probably overflowing with other goodies that need that heat.

I love how pumpkin smells.
Now the pumpkin's gotta get some flavor.

Add the spices and some brown sugar to the pumpkin.

Give everything a good stir.

Now comes the highlight of the pie--maple syrup!

The darker the syrup, the more maple flavor will come through.

Stir the maple in, and then add some half and half. If you don't have half and half on hand, you could use evaporated milk (this is different than condensed milk!), cream, or even coconut milk.

A little flour goes in, just to bind everything together.

Finally, whisk an egg and then pour it in. Then do the same to two more eggs.

All right, now that your filling is done, you need a crust. I'll admit it, I use premade crusts. I used to make my own crusts from scratch, but then I noticed that Mr. Kim Chee was not eating much of the crust, and decided it wasn't worth the effort. Plus, our kitchen is small and it's sometimes hard to find the space to roll out dough. I did find a recipe not long ago for pie crust you can make in your stand mixer--I'll have to give that a try sometime.

I get the refrigerated pie crust. The frozen is fine, too, but sometimes can crack and since it's frozen there's not much you can do to fix it. But the problem with refrigerated crust is that it's usually just large enough to fill the bottom of the pie tin, so you don't get that pretty, crimped edge. Since I usually only make one pie at a time, I use the second crust in the package to make an edge.

I find a little cookie cutter and cut out shapes from the second crust.

Looks like I need some autumn-themed cutters.

Here's a stack of shapes.

The second crust should give you just enough to go all the way around the base crust.

Then I get out some liquid--milk, half and half, or egg is what I usually use. Today I used half and half. Brush one side of your shape with whatever liquid you're using, and then press it gently onto your base crust.

I let them overlap a little. Here's the whole piecrust.

Now that my crust is ready, my filling can go in.

As a last touch, I brush the edges of the crust with more half and half.

Then I sprinkle the crust with some decorating sugar.

All ready to go into the oven!

While your pie is baking, it's a great opportunity to make some whipped cream. Yes, yes, I know they sell whipped cream (and Cool Whip) already made. But there's just something about homemade whipped cream. Plus, you can lick the beaters when you're done. 

Grab a bowl. If you've got time, it works even better if your bowl is cold and has spent some time in the freezer. But it works out pretty well with a bowl fresh from the cupboard, too. Pour some heavy whipping cream into your bowl.

Let your beaters do their job.

If you've got a kid in your house with a lot of extra energy, or a spouse wandering around looking like they're not busy, you can do this by hand, too. It just takes a little longer.


When your cream starts to thicken, add a tablespoon of sugar.

And don't forget to add vanilla. I'm using paste here (yum, vanilla bean specks), but regular vanilla would be fine, too.

Now get back to beating!

Beat until your whipped cream is fluffy and can hold its shape. I like my whipped cream on the stiffer side. It keeps better overnight that way--it loses some of its thickness when you store it, and if you don't beat it enough the night before than you sometimes end up with some not-very-fluffy whipped cream.

Now slap a big spoonful of your vanilla cream onto your pie, get out a fork, and dig in. Who cares if the turkey's not done yet? That just means you can have another slice for dessert.

Recipe: Pumpkin-Maple Pie with Homemade Whipped Cream

1 can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!)
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. salt

2/3 c. maple syrup

1 1/4 c. half and half
1 tbsp. flour
3 eggs

1 piecrust

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, brown sugar, and spices. Stir to combine.

Add maple syrup; stir well.

Add half and half; stir well.

Add flour; stir until just combined.

Beat each egg before adding, one at a time.

Pour into piecrust. Bake for 1 hour. Cool before serving.

Whipped Cream:
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp. white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla flavoring (paste or extract)

In a large bowl, beat whipping cream until it begins to thicken.

Add white sugar and vanilla. Continue to beat until fluffy and whipped.

1 comment:

  1. Subbing some rum for vanilla for the whipped cream is pretty delicious, too. This looks good, I'll have to make it for thanksgiving!