Pumpkin Pie

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Who wants more pie? Now as much I as would love to hand each and every one of you a piece of pie, that’s kinda hard over the internet. I’m sure they’re working on it, but it’s not quite there yet. In the meantime, I can bring you another post about pie. I know it’s not the same thing, but I think you’ll agree it’s pretty good. I mean, this one is pumpkin after all.

This may sound a little bit corny, but I still have memories of eating pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving celebrations when I was younger. My wife is a big fan of all things pumpkin, so we picked some up at the grocery store. I didn’t know then quite what I was going to do with it, but I knew I wanted to do something. I had also never really made a pie from scratch.

Well not never, never. I had made my yummy s’mores pie. But that used a graham cracker crust, which while awesome, is a different kind of pie altogether. I had never made regular pie crust from scratch. So pumpkin + pie = pumpkin pie.

The pumpkin pie I remember from my youth was one that we had at Thanksgiving that we celebrated with friends. They had made the pie, not us, so I didn’t have a family recipe to turn to. I looked around a bit until I found one I liked. This one looked delicious, and it had a pie crust recipe with it, to boot. So as they say, done and done.

Making the pie dough from scratch was fun. I mean, it was a lot of work, but there was something joyful in doing the work. I actually didn’t have a pastry blender at the beginning, but I thought I could muddle through it with other utensils. Bad idea. A potato masher just didn’t cut it. I actually popped out in the middle of making it just to get the pastry blender. Thankfully there’s a great kitchen supply/cooking store right in the neighborhood, so I popped the half done dough into the fridge, popped out and got the pastry blender, and then finished it up. (Yes, there was quite a lot of popping that day.)

Once I had the pastry blender, I finished up making the dough pretty quickly and easily. The evening is probably my favorite time to bake, but this time I had started late. It was too late to make and bake the pie, so I stuck the finished dough into the fridge after completion, leaving the pumpkin part till the next day.

So, about the pumpkin part: the recipe calls for yams. Given the confusion in this country between yams and sweet potatoes, and my not searching too hard for actual yams, I ended up getting sweet potatoes. But it was pureed sweet potatoes. I think it was okay. It turned out tasty, in any case. The other thing was that I wasn’t paying attention, and I accidentally added the whole can of sweet potatoes instead of just the cup needed by the recipe, so I ended up with a bunch of extra filling. (I had intended to use the extra filling, but I didn’t get to it in time.)

Perhaps because I used pureed sweet potatoes instead of candied yams, using the strainer wasn’t as much of a challenge as the recipe made it sound like it was going to be. It still took a while, but it wasn’t too bad. And boy was that pie smooth! (This guy can tell you how smooth it was.)

One issue I had was that in the end, I didn’t cook it long enough. I cooked it on the low-end of the range mentioned, just in case, and it seemed to have set enough to finish cooking out of the oven as the recipe said. Perhaps it was because I filled the pie up a little extra full (trying to use up the extra filling), or perhaps it just wasn’t set enough when I took it out, but it didn’t end up cooking enough. It ended up being more custard than pie.

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I stuck it in the fridge for a while to firm it up. That seemed to help it a bit. But once you dug into it, and it got to room temperature, it didn’t really hold together. It was delicious, but it wasn’t exactly pie. On the other hand, the crust was delicious. I’m a big fan of bread products in general, and pie crust for sure. And this was a nice pie crust. Everyone told me the crust was the hard part, so I should be pleased.

So, pie crust: yum! Pumpkin pie flavor: yum! Pumpkin pie texture: yum, but not quite pie. So as mistakes go, not too bad.

I still have the other half of the pie dough left. This recipe, like many I’ve seen, makes enough for two pies (or a top and a bottom crust if the pie calls for it). So the other one is sitting in the freezer, waiting for my next pie idea.

Did you try this recipe? How did it turn out? Any ideas for what pie I should make next? Let me know in the comments below.

Pie recipe from smitten kitchen. Pie crust recipe also from smitten kitchen.

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