Serves 8 to 10
Pumpkin pie can be boring and dense so I set out to make a better pumpkin pie. Pumpkin has a distinct squash flavor that you want to enhance without overpowering it. I’ve filled the prebaked crust with a lightly spiced pumpkin mixture that tastes more like a mousse than a dense custard. Dark rum and grated orange zest are my secret ingredients.
1 unbaked Perfect Pie Crust (recipe follows)
Dried beans, for blind baking
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée (not pie filling)
½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup whole milk
2 tablespoons dark rum, such as Mount Gay
Rum Whipped Cream (recipe follows)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Line an 11-inch pie pan with the unbaked pie crust and place it on a sheet pan. Line the crust with parchment paper. Fill the paper threequarters full with the beans and bake the crust for 15 minutes, until the edges start to brown. Remove the beans and paper (save the beans for another time), prick the crust all over with the tines of a fork, and bake for another 5 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, orange zest, eggs, cream, milk, and rum. Pour the filling into the baked pie shell.
Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, until the filling is just set in the middle and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely. Serve with the rum whipped cream.
Rum Whipped Cream
Serves 8 to 10
A dollop of mascarpone or crème fraîche in whipped cream stabilizes it so you can make it in advance and store it in the fridge without it separating.
1 cup cold heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon mascarpone or crème fraîche
1 tablespoon good dark rum, such as Mount Gay
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the sugar, mascarpone, rum, and vanilla and beat on medium-high until it forms soft peaks. Serve with the pumpkin pie.
NOTE: If you overwhip the cream and it looks curdled, just add a little more cream and whip it until it forms soft peaks.
Perfect Pie Crust
Makes two ( 9- to 11-inch ) crusts
There are a few tricks to making perfect pie crust. First, the butter, shortening, and water need to be ice cold. When you roll out the dough, you want to see bits of butter throughout. Second, allow the dough to relax in the fridge for at least thirty minutes before rolling it out. And third, don’t stretch the dough at all when you ease it into the pan. Perfect pie crust every time!
12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) very cold unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¹⁄³ cup very cold vegetable shortening, such as Crisco
½ cup ice water
Cut the butter in --inch dice and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture. Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball. Dump out onto a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Cut the dough in half. Roll each piece on a well-floured board into a circle at least 1 inch larger than the pie pan, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough so it doesn’t stick to the board. (You should see bits of butter in the dough.) Fold the dough in half, ease it into the pie pan without stretching at all, and unfold to fit the pan. With a small sharp paring knife, cut the dough 1 inch larger around than the pan. Fold the edge under and crimp the edge with either your fingers or the tines of a fork.
NOTE: I store the shortening in the refrigerator so it’s always cold. You can store the prepared pie crust in the fridge for up to a day.
Reprinted from the book Barefoot Contessa Foolproof copyright © 2012 by Ina Garten. Photograph copyright © 2012 by Quentin Bacon. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.