Not just any old pie, but pumpkin pie.
This particular pie is probably a record breaker for Slowest of Slow Food desserts.
Step One: Grow your own pie pumpkin.
Step Two: Three or so months later, harvest your pumpkin, slice it in half, scoop out the guts, bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until soft. Scoop out the flesh and (Key step here!) drain it in a sieve overnight to get as much excess water out of your pumpkin as possible. If you don't drain it, you'll have a very watery pie and that's no fun.
Step Three: Puree your drained pumpkin.
Step Four: Break out a fantastic recipe and completely ignore the part where it mentions one 16 oz can of packed pumpkin. Also ignore the part where it tells you working with fresh pumpkin is so haaard. Whiners! OK, it's a lot more involved than just Ksssht! opening a can of pumpkin, but this part is where all of the glory and bragging comes in. You grew that thang! You get to strut your stuff! And you also get to follow all of the other parts of the recipe, including cooking your pumpkin with sugar and spices and par-baking your pie pastry.
Did I mention this is an involved recipe?
Step Five: Add the cream. Yummm! Creeeeeeam! Simmer gently.
Step Six: Pour that warm filling into your par-baked shell and bake until done. Remove from oven. Inhale deeply.
This is what Autumn smells like.
Step Seven: Slice and dollop with Brandied whipped cream. After all that work you don't use Cool Whip. Have you ever looked at the ingredients on that stuff? Bleah!
Then, at long last, grab a fork and enjoy! Never did a pie take so long to make, nor taste so goooood.
Clearly, you need a recipe.
From The New Best Recipe Book by Cook's Illustrated, p. 903.
1 pre-baked pie shell
2 c plain pumpkin puree (canned or fresh - don't forget to drain it before pureeing and measuring!)
1 c packed (7 oz) dark brown sugar
2 tsp ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 c heavy cream
2/3 c milk
4 large eggs
1 1/3 c chilled heavy cream
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp brandy
- Process pumpkin puree, sugar, spices and salt in a food processor for 1 min until combined. Transfer the pumpkin mixture to a 3 qt heavy bottomed saucepan; bring to a sputtering simmer over med-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until thick and shiny, about 5 minutes.
- As soon as the par-baked pie shell comes out of the oven, adjust oven rack to lowest position and increase oven temp to 400 degrees. Whisk heavy cream and milk into pumpkin mix and bring to a bare simmer. Process the eggs in a food processor until the whites and yolks are combined, about 5 secs. With the motor running, slowly pour about half the hot pumpkin mix through the feed tube. Stop the machine and add the remaining pumpkin mixture. Process 30 sec longer.
- Pour warm filling into the hot pie shell. If you have too much liquid for your shell, let it bake for 5 minutes to give the pie a chance to settle and then pour the excess on. Bake until filling is puffed, dry-looking and lightly cracked around the edges, and the center wiggles like gelatin when the pie is gently shaken, about 25 min. Cool on a rack for 1 hour.
- Whipped cream: Beat together cream and sugar to soft peaks. Add brandy and beat to stiff peaks. Dollop responsibly!