Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Finest Pumpkin Pie, Ever

I'm doing this one early so that you can test fly it before Thanksgiving. This pie is so rich, so sinfully smooth, delectable stuff that doesn't lose or compromise the beautiful taste of the pumpkin. Even you hard core pumpkin jacks out there should give this one a whirl. I'm even going to throw in my ultra-double-national-security-this-is-so-good-I-still-make-it-and-I-don't-even-drink-secret recipe for Pumpkin Liqueuer for the sauce at the end. (The liqueur ends up mostly in seasonal Pumpkin truffles). I haven't even fired up the truffle kitchen yet this year what with my busy schedule of work that actually make me money and stuff. But I still remember my promise to give some away as a prize, my promise to send a dozen to Sarah In Chicago. I also know that I am expected by family and friends to not give anything else for Christmas gifts so, all of you who are worrying about that, take heart. They will be coming. Let's all of us get through Thanksgiving first though. I haven't figured out what kind of contest to run for the truffles so, since my six or so regular readers are already in the running as winners, please leave any and all ideas in the comments. Remember that the judging process will be arbitrary and probably biased and unfair. That said; Who Wants Pie?

INGREDIENTS FOR THE PIE FILLING

3 eggs
2 cups solid pack pumpkin puree
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (the manufacturing cream at Smart & Final does nicely here)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (grind it fresh yourself)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (OK, get this one at the store)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (use your microplane, or buy a microplane and use that)
2 tablespoons crystalized ginger, chopped small
(per pie)

Make your crust using the recipe from the peach pie. This pie filling is deserving of an outstanding crust. You can be a lazy git, all indolent and stuff, and get one from the frozen section of the supermarket and people will still rave about this pie. It's just that they will look at the cheap ass crinkly foil pie dish and, if you bring this as a guest, think you don't trust them with your dishes or they will think that you just don't fucking care what they think. So, as we say out here in the West, cowboy up and get working.

Roll out the pie crusts, transfer to the pie pan. Do something decorative and nice with the edges. I do a spiral roll all the way around the pan, then I take a three tine crudité fork and put in some scoring. This makes for a nice lip on the edge of the pie. But, knock yourself out. This is all decorative, not functional beyond the esthetic.

Beat the eggs until smooth and lemon colored. Beat in the other ingredients in order and mix until perfectly smooth. Pour into the pie shell, put a strip of foil around the edge of the pie and bake at 400° for 35 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle evenly with the crystalized ginger bits and bake for another 15 minutes. The center of the pie might be a little jiggly, but a knife inserted halfway to the middle will come out clean. The edge of the crust should be a perfect, golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a rack.

I serve this mit schlag (which for you barbaric uncultered types is whipped cream without any flavorings or sugar) and drizzled with a half and half mixture of Creme Anglais and the above mentioned Pumpkin Liqueur.

INGREDIENTS

24 ounces fresh (not canned) Pumpkin
Fresh lemon, Juice and rind
25 ounces Rum (Havana Club, but if you don't want to support the Castro regime and are willing to compromise your quality for politics Mount Gay will do you asshole)
Sugar in equal volume to the amount of lemon juice and rind combined.

Cut the pumpkin into small squares (about 1/2") and place in a large pan on top of the stove. Completely zest a lemon with a microplane or a fine grater, then cut it and juice it. You can eyeball your amounts or you can measure. I eyeball, but I'm really fucking good at this, rate yourself honestly and behave accordingly. Do this until the pumpkin is almost covered with lemon juice. Turn the heat to medium high and cook until the pumpkin is soft and squishy. Force this through a sieve (I have one of those wonderfully handy chinahat sieves) into a large jar. Add in the rum and the sugar. Cap tightly and set in a cool dark place for at least a week. Then filter through a fine sieve lined with a cheese cloth into a bottle.

There are some Pumpkin Liqueurs out on the market, they all suck. This doesn't.

Now you're set to be a real hero this holiday season. People will love the new and creative ways you work with the old tired clichéd Pumpkin. Or you can be a slacker and swipe the recipe right off of the can and plunk it into a salty, chewey frozen pie shell. Or you can even go to one of those chain places like Marie Callander's and get one of theirs already made and sitting on the shelf for a few weeks. It's up to you. You can do these dishes for real or you can just pretend to do stuff like our current president. The pictures will come out the same whether or not you really fly the plane or the mission is really accomplished. My work here is done.

find this one also at 3B's

14 Comments:

Blogger Pogo said...

Minstrel,
Just read your last post. Your life is nothing if not colorful. Hope you have a wonderful trip through pumpkin pie land - that sounds like a wonderful PP. May have to give it a turn when we get back from Mexico after Thanksgiving. Still love the new guitar.

1:09 PM  
Anonymous horsedooty said...

what new guitar pogo?

yo soy Horsedooty!

2:33 PM  
Blogger Pogo said...

hd,
bought myself an epiphone Sheraton II when the missus & I went to VA to celebrate our 10th. Gorgeous, and plays like a dream.

2:51 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

having a guitar you love is important. my nephew is rocking out in his high school band and he comes over here so that he can play my guitars. he doesn't know it yet but since his b-day and christmas are only separated by a couple of weeks i'm getting him an epi SG. then he'll be coming over to use the supertwin. i will let him use it when he gigs though.

4:35 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

i've often wondered what happened to that crazy girl. . .hot, but crazy.

4:36 PM  
Blogger andi said...

Er... you mentioned truffles. You did, I know you did. It's too late to take it back. Would there be any possible way to encourage you to post some preparatory advice for the novice truffle-maker before the holiday season hits? (I'm planning a massive chocolate assault at my friends and family this year. They have indicated they would prefer the good stuff.)

Respectfully and passionately requested,

~Andi

6:34 AM  
Blogger Pogo said...

MB,
The SG will be a delight for him. What a great guitar. You be a great uncle. I ended up buying a Princeton 650. I'm not enthralled with the effects, but the clean channel is nice and it is more than plenty powerful for my needs. Plus, at MF, it was $320 less than at my local shop -considerable since that saved me over half the price by buying it from MF. Only complaint is that it has a hum. I've got an old house that doesn't have grounded plugs in the part of it that I keep the amp in (a temporary situation) and wonder if that might be the problem. Any ideas?

8:51 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

try clicking on the word truffles. it's a link to a post i did that gives my recipe for them. also, in my profile it gives my email address (or any comment sends and email) and i will be happy to answer any questions you might have.

8:51 AM  
Anonymous horsedooty said...

pogo:

here is some eye candy for you and MB great builder.

http://stevensguitars.com/

yo soy Horsedooty!

9:06 AM  
Blogger Pogo said...

hd,
Muchas gracias!! Muy bien!!
(Now added to my favorites list.

9:44 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

the two things i can think of off of the top of my head pogo are to try the polarity toggle switch on the back of the amp. if that doesn't get you anywhere i would suggest a trip to home depot where they sell outlet boxes for cheap. i agree with you that the effects loop on the princeton is decidely substandard. the reverb isn't bad (and that's usually about all i ever use). as far as the power goes, hell yeah it's more than a house can stand. i have a call in to a sound dude whose opinion i value and whose expertise i respect. remember these amps were all designed in the late 50's and early 60's so i'm sure there are others who have encountered the "old house" problem.

horsedooty mi amigo, i have some collegues who play stevensguitars. i've even lovingly fondled a few of them myself. they are a fine product and he has produced more than a few true works of the luthier's art. thanks for the link.

9:59 AM  
Anonymous horsedooty said...

no hay problemo mi amigos con mucho gusto.

yo soy Horsedooty!

10:38 AM  
Blogger andi said...

thank you! please excuse the oversight; i was a little distracted yesterday.

6:40 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

No problem at all andi: here are some of the chocolate recipes that i have already posted

chocolate soufflé

and

sacher torte

and please, again, feel free to ask any specific questions either in comments or through email. i loves me some chocolate and enjoy helping people unlock its mysteries.

8:07 AM  

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