Monday, 20 October 2008

Anna Olson's Perfect Pumpkin Pie


My baby girl, who has been working hard at her first year of university, has asked me to bake her a pumpkin pie. Have you ever heard anything so sweet in your life? It just so happens that Food Network Canada is featuring Anna Olson's Perfect Pumpkin Pie this month. Kismet? I think so.

I added 10 minutes to the cooking time and made little pastry acorns as a decoration with a cookie cutter. The pie is meant to have time to set up, like a custard. The verdict? Score one for mom. And Anna, of course!

Anna Olson's Perfect Pumpkin Pie
Yield: 8

INGREDIENTS:
Pastry
• 6 tbsp cold unsalted butter
• 6 tbsp cold vegetable shortening
• 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
• 2 tbsp sugar
• 1/2 tsp fine salt
• 4 to 5 tbsp ice water

Pumpkin Pie
• 2 cups canned pumpkin
• 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
• 3 tbsp fancy molasses
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
• 1/8 tsp ground cloves
• 1/2 tsp fine salt
• 3 large eggs
• 1 1/3 cups whipping cream
• 3 tbsp brandy or orange liqueur

Spiced Whipped Cream
• 1 cup whipping cream
• 2 tsp sugar
• 1/4 tsp cinnamon
• pinch nutmeg

DIRECTIONS:
Pastry
1. For pastry, freeze butter and shortening for 30 minutes. Combine flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Using a box grater, grate the butter and shortening into flour. Toss this mixture with your fingers to coat the fats, breaking up lumps with your fingers as you go. The dough should be a rough, crumbly texture and take on a slight yellow tone. Add 3 Tbsp of the water and mix with a spatula or wooden spoon to bring dough together, adding a little more water if needed. Shape dough into a disc and chill for an hour before rolling.

Pumpkin Pie

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to just under ¼-inch thick. Dust the bottom of a 9-inch pie shell with flour and line with dough. Trim edges, keeping scraps to roll and cut for garnish, if desired. Chill while preparing filling.
For filling, whisk pumpkin with brown sugar, molasses spices and salt. Whisk in eggs, then whipping cream and brandy or orange liqueur. Pour into chilled pie shell.
Bake for 10 minutes, then lower temperature to 350 degrees F. and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until filling puffs just a little around edges but still has a bit of jiggle in center when moved. Allow to cool to room temperature, then chill completely.

To serve pumpkin pie warm, it is recommended to bake and chill completely, then re-warm in a 300 degrees F. oven for 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with spiced whipped cream.
Spiced Whipped Cream

Whip cream with sugar and spices until medium peaks form. Dollop over the pieces of pie.