November 21, 2012

The Maine Ingredient: Traditional pies stand test of time

By Brooke Dojny

(Continued from page 1)


After trying a couple of times to make pies with "from scratch" pumpkin puree (cutting, roasting, scraping, mashing), I concluded that it's really not worth the trouble – in fact, canned pumpkin is superior in some ways because the puree has been cooked down to a properly thick consistency. Just be sure not to buy pre-sweetened and spiced pumpkin pie filling. This pie follows a rather classic formula, with a small slug of bourbon or rum added for interest (though it's fine, too, without the spirits).

One 9-inch pie; eight servings

Pastry for single-crust pie

1¾ cups pumpkin puree (from a 15-ounce can)

¾ cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ginger

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup cream

½ cup milk

1 tablespoon bourbon or rum

Sweetened whipped cream for serving

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 12-inch circle. Ease into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim and flute the edges and prick the crust all over with a fork. Freeze for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Press a sheet of foil into the bottom of the pie shell. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake for 5 to 8 minutes until pale golden. If pastry starts to puff up, press the bottom gently with a large spatula or oven-mitted hand to flatten. Fill immediately or cool on a rack. (See note.)

In a large bowl, whisk the pumpkin puree with the sugar and eggs. Whisk in the cinnamon, ginger, salt, cream, milk and bourbon. Pour into prebaked pie shell.

Bake in the preheated oven until custard filling is set at the edges but still slightly wobbly in the center, 40 to 50 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack before serving at room temperature. Serve with whipped cream. (Can be refrigerated for up to a day.)

Note: If you don't mind a slightly soggy bottom crust (and, truth be told, the custard filling sort of merges with the crust anyway), skip the prebaking step.


Brooke Dojny is author or co-author of more than a dozen cookbooks, most recently "Lobster!" (Storey, 2012). She lives on the Blue Hill peninsula, and can be contacted via Facebook at:


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