Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving! Penelope's Favorite Pumpkin Pie

Happy Thanksgiving Castle Farm Cookbook blog readers!  We have made a delicious pumpkin pie for you.  Well, technically you can't eat this one, but you could make one of your own and eat it, but if we could make this pie for you, we would - and that should count for something.  This is called Penelope's favorite pumpkin pie because it is not Cornelius' favorite pumpkin pie (that is a different recipe, which everyone other than Cornelius thought was inferior to this pie). Cornelius does think it was a close call though, and that this pie is very good too.  This recipe is originally from Martha Stewart, and can be found here.  Our version is better though because we have more pictures and expert notes! For planning purposes, you should know this pie is like a 3 hours process and it also tastes best if you allow it to refrigerate over night to let the flavors sink in.

Tools needed: 9-10 in pie pan, pie weights, parchment paper, cookie cutters, food processor, rolling pin, pigs and cows to help with the tricky parts and with the eating

pie ingredient list
3 eggs + 1 egg yolk
3/4 c + 1 Tbsp heavy cream
1/2 c packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
1/2 c pure maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla

crust ingredients 
2 3/4 c regular flour
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 Tbsp sugar
2 1/4 sticks (18 Tbsp) cold unsalted butter, cut into peices
7-10 Tbsp cold water

1. Make the pie crust dough.

a. Pulse flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor.

b. Add butter peices and pulse into coarse crumbs form, about 10 seconds.

b. Put your 10 Tbsp water in a small cup.  With the machine running, add water slowly until dough just holds together and is not wet or sticky, no longer than 30 seconds.
Cornelius' tip: it took closer to the 7 Tbsp for us.  Once we put that much in we let it run another couple seconds and the dough was then formed so that it would go around and around the machine as one chunk.  That means its done.

c. Divide dough into 2 equal parts, shape into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate 1 hour.   (You can also refrigerate overnight, or even freeze it for a month!)

2. Take measurements.  In this recipe, you will be fitting a beautiful top crust to your pie.  You do not want this crust to be too big or small.  So before you have filled your pan with anything, invert it and trace the circle onto parchment.  Cut it out, pretend it is a lattice pie crust top you have spent lots of time on and adjust to how you would like it to fit.  If you have a lid that fits your pie pan, keep that in mind and make sure it will fit.  Save this parchment piece for later.

3. Prepare pie shell. On a lightly floured surface, roll 1 disk of dough to 1/8 inch thick.  Fit it into your pie pan.  Trim or shape edges to be flush with the rim.  Refrigerate 1 hour.

4. Preheat oven to 375.  Cut a 13-15 inch round of parchment and place on top of the chilled crust.  Fill the crust with pie weights (or dried beans).  Freeze for 10 min.
Cornelius' tip: It is very important that the parchment round be significantly bigger than the bottom of your pie pan.  We found out why:  if you cut it to be the same size it makes removing the pie weights and the parchment very difficult, especially because the pie weights become very hot.  So trust us on this one and cut a big circle.

5. Bake piecrust for 10 min.

Remove weights and parchment and bake another 5 min, until the crust is light brown.  Then, cool on a wire rack.
Cornelius' tip: the pie crust will not be fully cooked at this point.  it is going to get another 45 min + to bake.  It's going to look something like this when it comes out:

6. Meanwhile, start to prepare the lattice top.

a.  Roll out the other disk of dough to 1/8 inch on a lightly floured piece of parchment.  Now remember that carefully measured disk from step 2?  Use that to cut out a circle on the dough with a paring knife.

b. Transfer the parchment and dough circle to an inverted cookie sheet.

c. Use your cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes.  Transfer the cut-outs to another piece of parchment.
Cornelius' tip: We used pie cutters like these ones from Williams-Sonoma.  That way we didnt have to etch the shapes, it does it all at once.

Cornelius' Tip: make sure to space your cut-outs 1 inch apart, and also stay 1/2 inch away from the edge of the circle.  Otherwise the crust will be too fragile and might break.

d. make an eggwash by whisking together 1 egg yolk and 1 Tbsp cream.  Brush the lattice top with the wash.

e.  arrange your cut-out shapes around the edge of the lattice top, but do not let them hang over the edge or they will burn.  Brush these with egg wash as well.

f. refrigerate lattice top for 20 minutes.

7. Bake lattice top until golden, 20-25 minutes.  Tent with foil if the thin parts start to brown too quickly. Cool on wire rack.

8. Reduce heat to 350.

9. Make pie filling.  Combine sugar, flour, salt, and spices in a bowl.  In a different and bigger bowl, whisk together pumpkin, maple syrup, vanilla, eggs, and 3/4 c cream.  Whisk in flour mixture.

us with our maple syrup penguin friend

Cornelius' tip: It looks best to mix pumpkin pie in an orange bowl.

10.  Put the pie crust on a cookie sheet.  Fill with pumpkin mixture.  Bake 40 min (it will be jiggly still) and then remove from oven.

11.  Carefully place lattice top on the pie.  You won't be able to adjust this, so get it right the first time and hope that you measured well!  Bake until all but the center of the pie is set, about 10 minutes.

12.  Cool completely.  Refrigerate.  Wait a day.

13.  Eat with family and friends!

Once again, this is a delicious pie.  We hope you enjoy it and hope that you had a happy thanksgiving!

pig, out.


  1. So I'm not one for reading before I look at all of the pictures and I thought for a second that those pie weights were marshmallows. It would have been the BEST PIE EVER. I was very disappointed to find out what they really were.

  2. I do believe that is the most artistic crust in all the land, quite the crowd pleaser! ~ 5 yums up:)


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