So, I think I’ve only ever made pumpkin pie one other time. I’m not entirely sure why I haven’t made it more, but I really like making it, so it will be a regular item on our Thanksgiving menu (much to Aidan’s delight! – he loves the stuff!).
That said, even though I like making it, I’m still not as much a fan of eating it. Go figure. Aidan and Dusty like it though, so, there you go.
This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie we were given the option to do a rewind. Since I had volunteered to help out with some pumpkin pies for an international student dinner for the holiday that my friend Becky over at The Vintage Mixer was helping organize, and since it was so close to Thanksgiving, I couldn’t resist making the Caramel Pumpkin Pie (originally hosted by Janell) my rewind of choice.
I chose to use two different pie crust recipes I love that I found over on Epicurious. One (the small tart) is a cream cheese pie crust
(I’ve made it as written and it works great, but it was a little fussy for me, so I will hopefully get a chance to write down my ‘easier’ version soon for you – if you need it in the meantime, just email me – this crust is awesome and tastes SO good!). The other is just a basic pie dough recipe
(the large pie with leaf border), but it uses a combination of shortening and butter, which I think always gives the best results and is easy to work with.
For the leaves on both the pie and ‘tart’ I just used a large maple leaf cooking cutter I have and glazed the dough with an egg wash and a sprinkling of sugar before baking. I love making the edge crust this way because I often really stink at making a great edge – this way I get to cover it up!
The egg wash not only gives the crust a nice shine, but it acts as the glue that helps hold that outer crust together. You just layer all the pieces, slightly overlapping (my cookie cutter is a good 2 1/2 inches and took 10 leaves to cover the entire edge as shown) and brush the egg wash on. Sprinkle with a little sugar for a little sparkle and crunch.
I did bake the pies most of the way through before adding the decorative border though – otherwise I think the crust edges would probably have just sunk into the wet pie filling. I waited until the outer part of the filling was fairly well set before doing the border. It didn’t hurt the pie to come out of the oven for a few minutes to add the pre-cut leaves (I cut them when I originally rolled the dough, then just kept them covered on a lined sheet in the refrigerator until I needed them). It was about 15 to 20 minutes before the pie was going to be done and I just let the pies bake until the filling was set and the leaves were golden.