Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fresh Pumpkin Pie and Canadian Thanksgiving

It's not my best effort for a photo, but to my credit, I had a mob of hungry Thanksgiving guests at our house. Time for taking photos was certainly limited. This was my first pumpkin pie made from actual real pumpkin. I've read a hundred articles saying that canned pumpkin simply works better for pie. Don't believe the hype. This, by far, was the best pumpkin pie I've ever made.

If you have any questions about how to prepare the pumpkin, see my post on Pumpkin Risotto. After you've scooped the flesh out, puree it in a food processor until smooth in order to make the pie (or any other baked good).

Fresh Pumpkin Pie with Brandied Whipped Cream

Source and adapted from: Cooks Illustrated
They say this makes one pie, I had enough filling for two

1 prebaked Pie Shell (whatever recipe you use for this, just give a prebake beforehand)

2 cups (16 ounces) fresh pumpkin
1 cup (7 ounces) packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup milk (use whole)
4 large eggs

Brandied Whipped Cream
1 1/3 cups chilled heavy cream
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon brandy

First prebake your pie shell according to your own directions (basically until a touch golden).

In a food processor, process pumpkin, dark brown sugar, spices, and salt about 1 minute until combined. Transfer pumpkin mixture to a heavy bottomed saucepan and bring to a sputtering simmer over medium-high heat. Cook pumpkin until shiny, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes.

As soon as the pie shell comes out of the oven, adjust oven temp to 400 degrees. Whisk the heavy cream and milk into the pumpkin mixture, and bring to a bare simmer. Process the eggs in the food processor until yolks and whites are just combined. With the motor running, pour half of the pumpkin mixture back into the processor through the feed tube. Stop and add the remaining pumpkin. Process 30 seconds until combined.

Immediately pour the warm filling into the hot pie shell. You can ladle any excess or a bit more into the shell after the filling has settled in the oven after about 5 minutes of baking. Bake the pie about 25 minutes or until the center wiggles like jello a bit when shaken.

Allow to cool at least an hour before serving.

For the whipped cream, take a chilled bowl, add the heavy cream and sugar and beat with an electric mixture until soft peaks form. Add the brandy and then beat until stiff peaks form. Serve on top of yummy pumpkin pie and be happy!!

Canadian Thanksgiving

Now all of this hard work was for Canadian Thanksgiving. My husband is Canadian and ever since I dragged him here to the States, we've celebrated the Canadian version of the holiday. The premise is the same, the food is the same (though like the U.S., every region has their own take on it), but the timing is different. Canadian Thanksgiving takes place on the U.S.'s Columbus Day Weekend every year. So, every year, we fill our table with family and friends and have an amazing meal all together with plenty of laughs... and plenty of wine!

My mother and I have a deal now. She makes the turkey and stuffing (because it's awesome), and I make all the sides. On the menu this year: Turkey, Stuffing, Corn Casserole, Squash and Apple Bake, Mashed Potatos, Apple Crisp, Pumpkin Pie and birthday cake for my mother-in-law who we were lucky enough to have visit from Denver for the occasion.

The one great thing about the timing of Canadian Thanksgiving over our U.S. version is that the harvest is still in full swing in mid-October. I was able to get almost everything I needed from the Newburyport Farmers' Market for the feast. I picked up butternut Squash, corn and potatoes from Heron Pond Farm; the sugar pumpkins from the pie came from Farmer Dave's in Dracut; and the apples came from Applecrest Farm Orchard. The other great thing? The meal was made with mostly all local ingredients and all those veggies cost me less than $15. How great is that?

This is a wonderful tradition that I absolutely love doing every single year. I'm happy to celebrate Thanksgiving twice. I have a whole lot for which to give thanks. It's nice being able to continue my husband's traditions here, although he's far from home. All in all, it was tasty, the wine went down easy and the company, well... they're simply amazing. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Torviewtoronto said...

delicious filling

UrMomCooks said...

So agree that fresh pumpkin makes a fantastic pie! So worth the extra step! This makes me want pie right now!