Thursday, November 15, 2012
Pumpkin Pie with Maple Sweetened Whipped Cream
When planning the Thanksgiving feast (or any festive meal for that matter), I often skip over the actual dinner part and think about dessert first. From there, I work backwards to choosing the main course, sides and appetizers. I love to bake, and dessert offers the opportunity to pull out cake tins, sifters, pie plates and rolling pins. While I like to add one or two new treats to our Thanksgiving dessert buffet (check out this Pumpkin-Chocolate Torte I’m making), I do appreciate tradition and I adore pumpkin pie.
One can never have too much pumpkin pie in my opinion. Growing up, I ate my slices of pumpkin pie by skimming the filling off in layers with my fork to make it last longer, saving the crust for last – I can safely say I’ve loved pastry my whole life! I prefer to keep my pumpkin pie simple, with just a hint of cinnamon and ginger. As much as I enjoy autumn spices, I like to taste the pumpkin and find it’s often lost in cloves and allspice.
Pumpkin pie is an American classic. It tastes of holidays, family, warmth and comfort. We discovered through some of our exchange students that pumpkin is often an acquired taste (along with root beer and peanut butter). Creamy, maple sweetened pumpkin custard wrapped in a rich, buttery crust gets my taste buds tingling. And whipped cream is a must – it’s a beautiful sight to see clouds of cream mounded on top of the pie (keep the bowl nearby to dollop on more).
This is Sam’s favorite pie and I must say I can happily eat it year-round. I’m most delighted when I discover leftovers the next morning and can cozy up with a slice for breakfast.
Pumpkin Pie with Maple Whipped Cream
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
3-4 tablespoons ice water
2 cups unsweetened pumpkin puree
2 cups heavy cream, divided (be sure 1 cup is well chilled for whipping)
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely grated
1 teaspoon cinnamon
To make the pastry, combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the chilled butter pieces and pulse until the butter breaks up into little pieces. Add 3 tablespoons of ice water and pulse to blend. If the dough does not begin to hold together when a small amount is squeezed, add 1 more tablespoon. Turn the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper. Press into a flat disc, wrap up and pop in the fridge to chill while you prepare the filling.
In a mixing bowl, stir together the pumpkin puree, 1 cup of cream, eggs, 1/2 cup maple syrup, ginger and cinnamon. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Have ready a 9 inch pie plate or tart pan. Remove the pie dough from the fridge. Open the parchment paper and lay another piece of parchment paper over the dough. Roll the dough into a round to fit our pan (remember to roll in a few directions, then move the dough around so you are rolling evenly). Peel the top sheet of paper off and, using the bottom sheet, gently invert the dough into your pan. Press in and smooth to fit and remove parchment. If you’d like, crimp the edges in a decorative way.
Fill the crust with the pumpkin filling. Place the pie plate on a rimmed baking dish and pop it in the oven. Bake until the custard is set, about 30-40 minutes (it should be a bit jiggly). Remove and let cool. Serve room temperature, or chill for up to a day before serving.
When ready to serve, whip the chilled cream with the remaining 2 tablespoons of maple syrup until soft peaks form. Dollop and eat!