Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Grown Up Pumpkin Pie

Once upon a time, I was convinced that the best pumpkin pie was straight off the label of a Libby's can, and it is pretty good. Let's face it, chances are, it's the pie you grew up with. But thing of it is... we all grew up, so why didn't our pie?

Somewhere along the line, I read an article by someone who's name forever escaped me. In it, she recounted a time she was out of evaporated milk and decided to substitute sweetened condensed milk and a touch of cognac to thin it out a bit. I tried it and liked it. Then I tried it again with brandy and liked it better. I also have a heavier hand with spices, loving richly spiced foods from around the world, so my pies changed from the Libby recipe to something much bolder, richer, and spicier.

Then I got married.

Pumpkin pie is probably the biggest disagreement John and I have had. Eventually, I decided to bake one his way (Libby), one my way, and a dish of a 50:50 mix of the two custards.

One bite of each and the disagreement was over. The mixed custard was the absolute best pumpkin pie either of us had ever had.

Grown Up Pumpkin Pie

1 1/2 C sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp ground cloves
pinch of ground mace
4 large eggs
1 can (29 oz) Libby's 100% pure pumpkin
1 can (12 fl oz) evaporated milk
1 can ( fl oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 C brandy
2 9 inch deep dish pie crusts (or 1 10 inch deep dish crust)

Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl. Beat eggs in a large bowl, then add the pumpkin, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, brandy, and mix well. Then add the sugar mixture and stir throughly. Pour into pie shell, and move into middle rack of 425F oven for 20 minutes. Then reduce over temp to 350F and cook until the custard is done, approximately 35-50 minutes. A knife inserted in the center will come out almost clean, but I used the time-tested 'jiggle method', and call the pie done when only the center few inches jiggle when I bounce the oven rack.

If you use a 10 inch deep dish Le Creuset pie dish, the total bake time can approach 1 hour 20 minutes.

Cool pie on rack at least a hour before serving, but this pie is also very good made a day in advance.

Separately mixing the dry and wet ingredients before combining will prevent little clumps of spices from forming.

Mmm... breakfast of champions!

I didn't have whipped cream. There is no excuse for me.

Next up, Hot Buttered Rum!

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