“Oh, my goodness, your pie crust is amazing!” I lavishly complimented my fit, thin and beautiful girlfriend/hostess.
“Well, thanks,” she grinned, “I just love making pies.”
“What recipe did you use,” I naively asked, “ I’ve never had much luck with pie crusts.”
“Oh, it’s ever so simple! I just used Crisco and a quick fork to bring it together,” she gestured.
Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me! Why do I always think that THIS time will be different? Why did I fall for that crumby line again?!
Well, I’ve never been daunted by a challenge, but piecrusts… well they strike a cold dagger of fear into my heart. But not this Thanksgiving! I was determined not to let my past failed attempts deter my plans!
“This time I will not fail!” I declared to the empty kitchen, “This time I will triumph and produce a pie crust so perfectly shaped and lightly golden brown that everyone reading my blog will be amazed!”
That crusty old pie crust and I would start anew. Yes, a fresh start was all we needed.
One box of Crisco later and over 15 minutes of rolling, cursing, re-rolling and cursing, then patching…I finally heaved the whole mess into the oven and slammed the door shut.
By now you’ve guessed. That flakey crust shrank until there almost wasn’t a crust left to be seen. The edges baked to a crispy, splendiferous black-brown with thin, crumbly bits on one side.
I know, I know, pie crust making usually takes a few tries. But I fear that there just aren’t enough days in the gym to make up for all the pies I’d have to bake in order to reach perfection.
I’m sure I’ve told you my Gran and my mother are Master pie crust bakers. While I’m certain that we can inherit all sorts of gifts and talents, clearly this wasn’t one of mine. And I am more than content to acknowledge that my dear friend is definitely the Queen of Pies… it’s a fitting title, I’ve seen and tasted enough pie in my life… hers are the best (sorry to all the master pastry chefs out there, but you’ve got nothin’ on hers!)
So this Thanksgiving I will solemnly bury the knife and each slice will be laid to rest under a fluffy white mound of sweetly whipped cream. No one will complain, my brother will probably try to be nice then start laughing at me like he always does and my sister-in-law will try to explain where I went wrong… and I bet I still won’t get it!
Pie crusts and I, well, we just don’t see eye to eye.
To print a copy, click here: Humble (Pumpkin) Pie
Recipe adapted from Rose Beranbaum’s Great Pumpkin Pie recipe.
Here’s a photo in all it’s glory, just keepin’ it real!
Humble (Pumpkin) Pie
1 9 inch unbaked pie crust
1 cup finely crushed gingersnap cookies
1 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup heavy cream
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
whipped cream for topping
maple syrup (optional)
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Sprinkle the gingersnap crumbs over the bottom and up the sides of the unbaked pie crust. Press gently in.
In a medium saucepan, stir together the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon and salt. Cook over medium high heat until the mixture starts to bubble. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, you’ll see the color start to change. Then remove from heat and cool slightly.
Scrape pumpkin mixture into food processor. Put the lid on and while gently pulsing, add the milk and cream. Add eggs one at a time, but only blend for about 5 seconds each time. Add the vanilla with the last egg. Scrape down the sides.
Pour the mixture into the unbaked pie crust.
Bake in the oven for about 50 – 60 minutes, until a knife poked into the center comes out “wet” looking, but clean and the filling cracks somewhat. You may wish to cover the edges of the pie crust with foil for the last few minutes to prevent excessive browning.
(If you’ve baked leaves to decorate the top, bake them separately and place on after baking the pie.)
Top with whipped cream and drizzle lightly with maple syrup.