Friday, November 21, 2008

A Thanksgiving staple - Pumpkin Pie

One part of my family celebrated Thanksgiving early this year, because my cousin was preparing to leave for U.S. Air Force basic training. I offered to bring the pie. I love pumpkin pie; it totally defines the season for me, even more so than turkey and dressing. There's not much better than a homemade one, and not much worse than a shitty one from a box with rubbery custard, butterless bone-dry crust, and excessive spices meant to disguise the inevitable freezer burn.

I was especially proud of the way these two came out- not a crack in sight, the custard cooked just right and not overbeaten. The crust was GBD*, a blissful balance of buttery and flaky.

Recipes used are simple- the filling recipe is from the label of Libby's pumpkin puree, and the crust is from Alton Brown.

You can find Alton's pie crust recipe here, but you should know I stray somewhat from his technique. I don't use the food processor; I like the manual labor of a pastry cutter. I also use Crisco shortening instead of lard, and I drizzle in ice water from a glass measuring cup instead of spritzing with a bottle. Finally, Alton calls for blind-baking the crust, which I omitted.

The pies tasted as gorgeous as they looked, especially with a generous slathering of whipped cream.

*GBD = Golden brown and delicious. Totally ripped off from my nerd-crush, Alton Brown. Learn it. Know it. I'll use it often.

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