Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Home sweet home. I finally picked a day to drive to Minnesota that was not smack dab in the middle of a snowstorm. The past few years for Christmas and Thanksgiving, whenever i decide to make the drive, old man winter decides to throw a ridiculous snowstorm at me. I am not sure what he has against me going home, but I showed him this year. Though, it was intensely sunny and when I opened up my sunglasses case, one of the screws was missing, so I spent the entire 7 hour drive squinting into the setting sun....I can't win.
It is wonderful to be home, I am sitting in my pj's, dad cooked me truffled eggs for breakfast, we are bracing for the storm of the century, and the smells of thanksgiving dinner are beginning to waft through the house. Onions caramelizing, sage frying, homemade turkey broth bubbling, it all has me salivating for tomorrow's feast. It is just a lovely way to start the day.
Are you ready for thanksgiving? Is all your shopping done, and food prepped? The nice thing about coming home is that all I have to do is drink wine and chop/stir/plate where needed. I already had my effort-heavy thanksgiving meal last weekend, so this time around I just get to kick back and enjoy it. I was in charge of dessert last weekend, and, though most of us were too full by the time we got there, it was a tasty ending to a fun and friend-filled day.
I made this pumpkin pie from the Thanksgiving Bon Apetit Magazine, substituting my very favorite pate brisee crust. It is a beautiful twist on the plain whipped-cream topped pumpkin pie we are used to seeing around this time of year. Toasted nuts with crystallized ginger creates a pretty border and adds that crunchy extra-something to the creamy pie and buttery crust.
Pumpkin Pie with Glaze Ginger-Nut Topping
adapted from Bon Apetit Magazine
1/2 batch pate brisee (or pie crust of your choice), rolled out to 1/4 inch thick disc and chilled
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons pepitas
2 tablespoons brown sugar
large pinch of salt
2 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger
1 - 15 ounce can pure pumpkin puree
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
Transfer crust to a 9-inch pie pan, pressing the dough into the corners. Cut off excess dough, and crimp edges with thumbs. Freeze for 1 hour before baking.
In a large non-stick skillet, heat the butter over medium high heat. Add almonds, pecans, and pepitas and saute until nuts begin to brown slightly, just about 2 minutes. Sprinkle brown sugar and salt over and stir and cook another 2 minutes, until sugar has melted and nuts have been coated. remove from heat and stir in ginger. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, with rack in center position. Line the pie crust with tin foil, and fill with pie weights, rice, or dried beans. Bake crust for 25 minutes, remove weights and tin foil, and bake for another 8 minutes. Remove crust from oven, but leave the oven on.
While the crust is blind baking, in a large bowl combine the pumpkin, both sugars, molasses, flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Whisk together until combined. Add the eggs, yolk, and cream. Whisk until smooth.
Pour filling into warm crust and bake for 20 minutes. remove pie from oven, and wrap strips of foil gently around the exposed crust to prevent it from becoming too dark and/or burning. Return to oven and bake for another 40-55 minutes, depending on how deep your pie pan is. Mine is very deep so it took close to 55 minutes for middle to set. It may still jiggle a bit in the center, but if you touch the center with your finger, and it is tacky, but not liquid-y, the pie should be good to go.
Transfer to pie rack and sprinkle the nut topping around the perimeter of the filling, leaving a circle in the center exposed.