Monday, September 27, 2010

No megafossilizedbycarbonatesaltymcshit here.

Well, as if you don’t already know it, I am going to remind you that voting is open for project food blog round 2 and you can vote for me by going here and clicking that little heart and making it red. Do it, and you’ll in turn be making my own little heart red right here in my chest!

Yesterday, Dad and I took a grand adventure to the pumpkin patch because a dear reader requested a post on pumpkin pie.  You’ll see the typical interaction below:

Hey Whitney,

I've been stalking your blog for awhile (finally "following" you today) and I'm super impressed with your cooking ability and your great conversational tone of writing. (Ashank you!)  I have a request of you since you are the only person I know who can actually cook. Could you do a pumpkin pie recipe? My fiance's (MAZEL TOV!) birthday is October 3 and pumpkin pie is his favorite. I've never made a pie before, but since it's our first celebration since moving in together I want to do something special. Or if you at least know a good pumpkin pie recipe to point me to, that would be great too.

Thanks so much!


And here we are, posting about pumpkin pie.  Ask and you shall receive my little darlings!  (Until you are my child and are 6 years old and desperately want a Red Ryder BB Gun. Then the answer is no.)  So, Liz, not only do I have a good recipe for pumpkin pie, I’ll argue that it’s an awesome one.  Do you know why? CAUSE ITS MARTHA’S. Martha Martha Martha!  That bia is always making the best everything, and that is why I listen to her.  When has Martha ever let you down?  When has she ever done something that wasn’t better than what you’ve done? Never. She’s Martha.

First, I would like you all to see how children hidden in adult bodies behave at pumpkin patches.
Yes. I did.
He's Melting.
Brian's new Shrew.
Glamour Shots.
Mom and Dad at the wee-be-little's station.
Gourdgeous (BHAHAH)

Now, I would like to tell you about making pumpkin pie from the ground up. (Literally.)  I know there are a lot of people who don’t care about taking short cuts and readily do when they need to.  I’m not judging you, I’m just not doing it here.  When I eat pumpkin pie, it better be effin’ worth it.  It better be worth every bite of that brown sugar, heavy cream and 2 and ¼ sticks of butter.  And if Dominick’s finer foodery made it, it ain’t worth it.  I also know that by making things like this from the ground up, I control what goes in it.  (Because I run this shit, and I don’t need megafossilizedbycarbonatesaltymcshit in my pie.) I am pretty sure you don’t either.
So, set aside 4 hours of your day, and make some pumpkin pies.  Make 2 or 3, and freeze them, so the next time you want pumpkin pie, you don’t have to work as hard for it, and it will FEEL like it came from Dominick’s but taste like it came from Great Grandma Sophia.  Booya.
Here’s how I do this. This is what I like to call my Amish order. Because Idol hands are the devils work or something… 
I clean and roast the pumpkins
Then I make the pate brisee (crust, son)
Then I fridge it the pate brisee
Then process the pumpkins
 Then I roll out the dough and bake it off
While it’s baking off I make the filling
Then I fill that son,
And I bake a bitch.

I feel it’s important that you have an order, so that you don’t lose even more of your Sunday Funday doing this.  I would block out 4 hours to be safe.  You don’t want to make that 5 do you? Then use the order. 

Clean and Roast the pumpkins.  When cooking with pumpkin in general, you want to use sugar pumpkin (especially for pumpkin pie).  Try to pick a nice 3-4 pound pumpkin.  To make 3 pumpkin pies you’ll need 3 solid cups of pureed pumpkin, so I would reserve 2 to be safe.  Cut the pumpkin in half and clean out the seeds and stringy gross stuff. (Technically it’s the membrane but I hate that word.) Place the pumpkin cut side down (to protect the flesh from burning) on a cookie sheet and roast at 350 for anywhere from 1 to 2 hours.  1 hour for smaller pumpkins, 1 ½ to 2 for larger ones.  They should feel soft to the squeeze when they are ready.  The flesh (eww.) will pull away from the skin of the pumpkin easily with a spoon.  Discard the skin and you are ready to puree the flesh once it’s reached this point.  (Although I would let it cool for a hot minute to avoid processing disasters.)

Before its been roasted
 Post roast and pureed.

For the Pate Brisee (Crust.)
I use Martha’s recipe because, as previously mentioned, she’s done this a time or babillion.  Keep this recipe in your folder, it’s good for LOTS of things, like pie crusts, tops of pot pies, etc etc etc. Be liberal with the butter, remember that if there aren’t butter bits in your pie crust, then there will be no flake to the crust.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon ice water

Pulse flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor until combined. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 5 seconds.
Drizzle water evenly over mixture. Pulse until mixture just begins to hold together, about 10 seconds. (Dough should not be wet or sticky.) Press dough into 1 large disk (for mini pies) or 2 small disks (for large pie), and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour or overnight.

Pumpkin Pie
1 sugar pumpkin (about 4 pounds), halved, or 3 cups solid-pack canned pumpkin (not pumpkin-pie filling)
1 1/2 recipes Pate Brisee, divide dough into 3 disks
All-purpose flour, for dusting
6 large eggs
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
Reserve 1 disk of dough for making leaf decorations. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out remaining disks into 14-inch rounds. Fit rounds into two 10-inch pie plates; trim edges, leaving 1/2-inch overhangs. Fold edges under, and press to seal. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. 
Cut 2 large circles of parchment; fit into pie shells, extending above edges. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. (no worries if you don’t keep either of these in your home, just fork the bottom of your pie crust really well so that it doesn’t bubble up on you.
Bake pie shells 15 minutes. Remove weights and parchment; bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes more. Cool completely on wire racks. 

Measure out 3 cups of your already cooked and processed pumpkin, and transfer pumpkin to a large bowl (reserve any remaining for another use; if using canned pumpkin, add that to the bowl instead).
Add brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, nutmeg, remaining 6 eggs, and evaporated milk; whisk until combined. 

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Place pie shells on rimmed baking sheets. Divide pumpkin mixture evenly between shells. Bake until all but centers are set, 35 to 40 minutes. Let pies cool completely on wire racks. Cut into wedges, and serve with whipped cream.

**Note** it took my pies more than 40 minutes… If you open the oven and give the rack a little shake, the pies should be firm and only jiggle a TINY bit.  If it looks like an ocean in there, shut the door!

If it wasn’t 11 pm by the time these pies came out of the oven, I would have made a big deal about them and served them with my cinnamon whipped cream, but I took one bite and was like “That’ll do donkey” and crashed.

So, if you don’t have 4 hours to do this, but still want to make your own pumpkin pie, you can do the following, ranging in order of most involved to least involved.

Make your own crust, but use canned pumpkin to save time.
Roast and puree your own pumpkin, but use a premade pie shell.
Buy a premade pie shell and use canned pumpkin.
Use a premade shell and preseasoned, canned pumpkin pie filling.
Just go to Dominick’s finer foodery and buy a damn pumpkin pie already, you lazy cow!
I kid!…a little.

So Liz, I hope this helps you, and I hope that your fifi’s first birthday while cohabitating is superb!  Send us pictures!


  1. Great recipe. Great photos. Especially the pun'kin patch ones. I already clicked that little red heart. Better see you moving into the third challenge. Keep the wit Whit. We all love it. Amanda

  2. wow!! What a tongue twister!! Love the poem!!! I don't have an extra 4 hours, but might buy the organic pie crust and go from there. Good job!!!

  3. Wonderful recipe...I soooo love pumpkin pie :)

  4. Erin PerkinsSeptember 27, 2010

    Okay--this is Amazeballs. I had no idea while you were multitasking a billion things at work today that you also crafted a pie until 11 p.m. You're the best and, ps I voted! Love ya--I'm like a proud mama over this whole blogging sitch!

  5. Thank you again so much Whitney :) I will definitely share photos of the result (good or bad).

  6. Gourdgeous pie indeed! Hallowe'en can now begin.