Let's end this week with perhaps the most iconic of all pumpkin treats: the pumpkin pie! Yes, I know, some people out there actually hate pumpkin. You'll have your time during the other 51 weeks of the year. This week... this week's special!
- 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter. chilled and cut into 1/4-inch parts
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, cold, cut into two pieces
- 2 tablespoons vodka
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 large eggs plus 2 large yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 15oz can pumpkin puree
- 1 cup drained, candied yams
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons fresh, grated ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon table salt
Whipped Cream Topping
- 1 1/3 cups cold heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 1 tablespoon brandy
Star with the crust. Process 3/4 cup flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor for 1-second pulses until it's combined. Add the butter and shortening and process about 12 seconds. There should be no uncoated flour left. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula and redistribute the dough evenly around the processor blade. Add 1/2 cup flour and pulse until everything is evenly distributed around the bowl. This should be about 5 quick pulses. Empty everything into a medium bowl.
Sprinkle the vodka and water over the mixture, then start folding the mixture on itself until the dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Flatten the dough into a 4-inch disk, wrap in plastic wrap, then refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out on a floured workspace until it's about a 12" circle and 1/8" thick. Roll the dough loosely around a rolling pin, then unroll it into a pie plate with at least a 1-inch overhand all around. Gently ease the dough into place by gently lifting the edge of the dough with one hand while pressing the dough to the bottom with the other. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Trim the dough up so you only have a 1/2" overhang, then use your thumb and forefinger to flute the edge of the dough. Refrigerate again for about 15 minutes. After it's cooled, line the crust with foil, and fill with pie weights (pennies will do). Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and weights. Bake for another 5 to 10 minutes or until the crust is brown. Remove the pie plate from the oven.
Now it's time for the filling. While the shell is baking in the oven, whisk together the cream, milk, eggs, yolks, and vanilla into a medium bowl. Combine the pumpkin puree, yams, sugar, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt into a medium saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook for about 10-15 minutes at a simmer, stirring constantly and mashing the yams until it's all thick and shiny.
Remove the pan from the heat, then whisk in the cream mixture until it's all well blended. Strain everything through a fine mesh strainer into a medium bowl. Press the solids through the strainer, then whisk the mixture in the bowl again and transfer to the pie shell you just baked. Return it all to the oven and bake for about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 300 degrees and bake for another 20-30 minutes. Let the pie cool on a wire rack for about 2 to 3 hours, then serve.
For the whipped cream, just beat the cream at medium speed until you get soft peaks. Gradually add confectioners' sugar, then brandy. Beat into stiff peaks, then serve on top of individual pieces of pie.