Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Alton Brown Pumpkin Pie: Part 1 of the Pumpkin Pie Matchup!

This is both a follow up to the Alton Brown recipe series and quite related to autumnal eats; the pumpkin pie, thanksgiving essential (up to debate). And this is the first of two posts comparing with another recipe to boot! More on that later.

Hopefully you’ll be using homemade pumpkin puree, but if not, I’m sure the canned stuff will work. Whatever the case, assembling the crust comes first.

For the AB Pumpkin Pie, the application takes a cue from graham cracker crusts but replaces the cookies with more assertive and distinctive gingersnap. Add some ground ginger, brown sugar and some melted butter and you’ll be set! More detailed instructions at the end.

First preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit while assembling the ingredients.

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Now, add the cookies, sugar and ginger to the food processor. After being turned into nice crumbs, a bit of melted butter is added in and pulsed through.

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With the butter added it should look a bit more stuck together.

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Then line it into your pie dish. Or use something close enough like I did (this had straight sides rather than the angled ones in a pie dish.) It’d be nicer if you could get it thinner and higher up the sides than this too, but with straight sides it makes for an interesting visual effect in the end product. Bake this crust on a baking sheet for ten to twelve minutes in the oven, then remove.

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Now for the filling. This pumpkin pie requires dark brown sugar (like the container?) kosher salt, half and half, nutmeg, eggs and pumpkin puree.

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Simmer the puree over medium heat for a few minutes until thickened.

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Add the half and half, nutmeg and salt.

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And stir through, simmering for ten more minutes before removing from heat.

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In another mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, two eggs and one egg yolk together until smooth.

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Carefully add the pumpkin puree mixture, which has hopefully been cooling for ten minutes now.

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And whisk together thoroughly.

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Now pour the filling into your crust (still on the baking sheet) and bake for 45-50 minutes. You want the middle to be slightly jiggly but the sides set.

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Allow to cool for at least two hours or up to two days, then enjoy! And possibly compare to another recipe.

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Some beauty shots before the competitor arrives, and the showdown begins!

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Recipe adapted from Good Eats 3:

For crust:

  • 6 ounces of gingersnaps
  • Tablespoon of dark brown sugar
  • Teaspoon of ground ginger
  • Ounce of unsalted butter, melted

For filling:

  • 1 pound of pumpkin puree
  • Cup of half and half
  • half teaspoon of nutmeg
  • half teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup of dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs + additional yolk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To assemble the crust, pulse gingersnaps, brown sugar and ground ginger until crumbs are satisfactory. Add melted butter and pulse to combine. Press into pie dish or reasonable facsimile, place on baking sheet, then bake 10-12 minutes and cool at least ten minutes.

For the filling, simmer the pumpkin puree for few minutes until thickened. Add half and half and nutmeg, simmer for additional ten minutes, then allow to cool for ten more minutes.

In separate mixing bowl, whisk brown sugar with eggs and additional yolk until smooth. Add the puree mixture and whisk thoroughly. Pour carefully into prepared crust.

Bake 45-50 minutes, using same baking sheet. Pie will be done baking when sides are set, center still jiggly. Cool for at least two hours, or refrigerate for day or two before serving!

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