Come Thanksgiving, there are a lot of things I’m thankful for.
One of those things is a husband who lets me use him for a food guinea pig.
This year, Thanksgiving was just the two of us, which was really bittersweet. We spent our first Thanksgiving in WY together, and have gone home for the past two years–and we planned to make that our tradition. But, this year we stayed in Wyoming. We made a huge spread, even though no one came over. One of the things I made was a pumpkin pie. Not just any pumpkin pie, but a pumpkin pie.
This posed a problem: the Hub-dubs’ favorite food is pumpkin pie. Plain-Jane, nothing exciting, pumpkin pie. So it was a real stretch for him to tell me, “sure, you can experiment with this year’s pie.”
Add to the 2013 List-of-Things-I-Am-Thankful-For: the pie turned out. Now, in order to properly experiment, you need to know a little bit about the science behind baking–why things do what they do and how they act. This experimental crust was partially inspired by a recipe in this month’s Taste of Home (the gingered-truffle pie thingy). I also consulted my Bible:
Best wedding present I ever got. I use it all. the. time. I like the little information they put in their about food–it’s really helped me come a long way. But, that’s a different story. Back to it.
And so, without further ado, I bring you: Pumpkin-Gingerbread Pie (aka pumpkin pie).
For the crust:
1 c. flour
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cloves
4 T. cold butter, cubed
1/4 c. molasses
*This recipe will yield you a thin (see photo above) crust pie and you’ll actually have about 3/4 c. filling left if you make it in a 9″ springform pan like I did. So if you like crust, are making a bigger pie, or are using a bigger pan, double the recipe. I thought the crust was a bit thin, so I would make 1.5x this recipe foe my pie–then I also wouldn’t have any leftover filling (although I did make crustless pumpkin pie out of that just in case this didn’t work out. Can’t wait to try it)*
You’ll also need your favorite pie filling recipe. If making the crust took all of your ambition, use this easy one from Libby’s.
You’ll also need a food processor. Well, maybe not need need it, but a food processor makes life a lot easier. If you don’t have one, Christmas is coming–put it on your list and remember to be good for Santa.
Preheat the oven to 350. Then, place the flour, sugar, and spices in the food processor and pulse until well mixed.
Then add the cold butter and pulse until the crumbs look like sand–or, more accurately, panko:
At this point I dirtied an extra dish by transferring this mixture to a bowl and hand-mixing in the molasses. You could add it to the processor and pulse, but I feel like that my be a terrible idea. If you try it though, let me know how it turns out–I’m all about dirtying as few dishes as possible.
Once the molasses is mixed in, pour the mixture into the pan of your choice:
Now just pretend this is a graham cracker crust and go to town. Press down on the mixture and completely cover the bottom and push the excess crust up the sides.
Pop that bad boy in the oven for 7 minutes or until it’s beginning to set. Once you pull it out there will be air bubbles and it will look a bit weird, but in the 30 seconds it tool for me to snap a ‘cooked’ photo, my crust went back to normal.
Pour in the pie filling and bake according to the recipe’s instructions.
Ta-da–a great finish to the ultimate meal!
Now, this piece is pretty nekked–I made a rookie mistake–no whipped cream in the house. I thought about making whipped maple cream to go on top, but I mistakenly threw this idea out to the Hub-dubs and told it was “wholly unnecessary.” Maybe tomorrow once I come out of my food coma I will try that. I also think this crust would be good with crystalized ginger in addition to everything else. Experiment with it–then tell me how it turns out =)