Dec 5, 2008

Triple Silken Pumpkin Pie

This was our thanksgiving dessert this year...only it came three days later!! I have been looking for a perfect recipe for my can of pumpkin and I found it at Dinner and Dessert. I really wanted to make this Triple Silken Pumpkin Pie, but I knew I would not be able to manage it for thanksgiving day...and therefore, it came today!

This is such a yummy yummy pumpkin pie. You can't even compare it with regular pumpkin pies because they are not even on the same level! There are basically four elements to this pie, the crust (of course), the pumpkin custard, the whipped cream, and the caramel pumpkin mousse. Erin from Dinner and Dessert had mentioned that she didn't like how the original recipe's crust came out, so she suggested to use another recipe.

I had this foolproof pie crust recipe bookmarked from the November 2007 issue of my cook's illustrated magazine, so I thought what perfect time to try it! I have to tell you, this pie crust is incredible! It's so easy to make and it came out perfectly! I could just eat the crust by itself. heehee =P Here are the recipes, do try it!

Foolproof pie dough
from Nov/Dec 2007 of Cook's Illustrated magazine
makes two pie crusts

2 1/2 cups (12.5 oz) unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp table salt
2 tbsp sugar
12 tbsp (1 1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup cold vodka
1/4 cup cold water

1. Process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, sugar in food processor until combined, about 2 one second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogeneous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour).

2. Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup of flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.

3. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into 4 inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.

Triple Silken Pumpkin Pie
from Dinner and Dessert
originally from Dessert by the Yard

For the Pumpkin Custard layer:
Dough for a single crust pie
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 large egg
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
6 tablespoons plain canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
¼ cup sour cream
6 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon brandy

1. Roll the dough out to a 16-inch circle, 1/4 inch thick. Press the pastry into the bottom and up the sides of a 9×2 ½-inch springform pan. The extra dough on the sides will compensate for shrinkage. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Remove from the freezer and trim away the excess dough from the rim of the pan.

2. Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

3. Prick the bottom of the pastry a few times with a fork. Line the pastry with parchment paper or large coffee filters. Fill the lined shell to the rim with the dried beans, uncooked rice, or pie weights and gently press the “faux filling” into the corners. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 350 degrees and bake for another 7 minutes. (If you are prebaking the dough in a springform pan, increase the amount of weights so that they reach the top of the rim).

4. Remove from the oven and remove the weights and the liner. Return to the oven for 10 minutes, until the center turns golden and looks dry. There should be no sign of moisture. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack.

5. For the pumpkin custard layer: Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

6. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, ginger, and cinnamon. Add the egg and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the brown sugar, pumpkin, sour cream, heavy cream, and brandy. Pour the mixture into the springform pan. Cover the pan with a sheet of buttered aluminum foil (buttered side down) and bake until the custard is just set, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. (The recipe can be prepared to this point up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated).

For the Whipped Cream layer:
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup crème fraiche
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons maple sugar

1. Combine the cream and crème fraiche in a large bowl, and using a hand mixer, beat until it starts to thicken. Add the sugar and maple sugar and continue beating until stiff. Spread in an even layer on top of the cooled or chilled pumpkin custard layer and refrigerate.

For the Caramel-Pumpkin Mousse Layer
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons water
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) powdered gelatin
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup plain canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
3 large egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
Whipped cream for garnish (optional)

1. Make the caramel-pumpkin mousse layer: Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use. Place 2 tablespoons of the water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Stir, then let it bloom (soften) while you prepare the caramel.

2. Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and ginger in a bowl and set aside. In a heavy saucepan, combine the ¾ cup sugar, the remaining 1 tablespoon water, and the lemon juice and cook over high heat until the mixture turns a deep amber color, at about 335 degrees on a candy thermometer. This will take 4 to5 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Remove the caramel from the stove and wait until the bubbles subside. Stir in the brown sugar mixture. Add the softened gelatin and stir to dissolve. Whisk in the canned pumpkin and set aside.

4. Using the hand mixer, beat the egg whites until they foam. Add the cream of tartar and 1 tablespoon of the remaining sugar and beat. Continue to beat, adding the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a slow, steady stream. Beat until the egg whites are stiff and shiny, about 2 minutes.

5. Lightly warm the caramel-pumpkin mixture by folding in one third of the beaten egg whites, using a whisk, preferably a balloon whisk. Pour the remaining egg whites over the top and carefully fold them into the pumpkin mixture using a rubber spatula. Fold in the chilled whipped cream.

6. Carefully pour the caramel-pumpkin mousse mixture over the whipped cream layer and smooth the top. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or until set. (The pie can be made up to a day in advance.).

7. To serve, gently remove the springform ring from the plate and set the pie on a plate. Garnish with additional whipped cream if desired.

  • The recipe says to pour the soften gelatin into the caramel. This automatically turns the mixture into clumps, and I had to reheat the entire mixture. The next time I make this dessert, I would add the pumpkin puree to cool down the caramel first, and then add the gelatin.
  • For the whipped cream layer, I didn't have any crème fraiche, so I substituted it with sour cream.



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