Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Almond Pumpkin Pie

I just came back from a long weekend at my family's cottage up on Georgian Bay where we celebrated Thanksgiving - again - because my cousin missed it the first time 'round.

So naturally, I couldn't pass up the chance to make one of my favourite desserts ever: Pumpkin pie.

I'm not sure why I love the taste of pumpkin so much or why the squash makes some of the best desserts (see: muffins, tarts, bread, cheesecake) but its combination with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and sometimes mace makes for a delicious yet not-too-sweet dessert.

I think it's precisely the not sweet part that I really enjoy. The pumpkin is more earthy compared to many other desserts and though it's creamy, it's not super rich (unless, of course, you add tons of whipped cream to it).

My aunt made an incredible pumpkin pie the previous weekend and added almonds to her recipe, so I decided to do the same.

And, just for fun, I made an apple crumble pie too, but that recipe is coming up in the next post.

So here's to the wonderful pumpkin pie! Nom noms!

Almond Pumpkin Pie (adapted from Wanda's Pie in the Sky cookbook)

For 10-inch pie pan.

Ingredients for crust pastry:

- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/3 cup shortening, cut into 1/2 inch pieces and frozen for 15 minutes
- 1/4 cup cold water

Make sure all the ingredients are as cold as possible. Using a pasty cutter or food processor and a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, butter and shortening.

Process or cut in until the mixture resembles coarse meal and begins to clump together. Sprinkle with the water, let rest for 30 seconds and then either process very briefly or cut with about 15 strokes of the pasty cutter, just until the dough begins to stick together and come away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and press together to form a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 20 minutes.

Allow the dough to warm slightly at room temperature if it is too hard to roll. On a lightly floured board, roll the disk to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Cut a circle about 1 1/2 inches larger than the pie plate. Transfer the pastry to the plate by folding it in half or rolling it onto the rolling pin. Turn the pastry under, leaving an edge that hangs about 1/2 inch over the plate.

Ingredients for filling:

- 5 eggs
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1 medium sized pack of half almonds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs lightly. Add the remaining pie ingredients and whisk thoroughly. Pout into the prepared crust. Lightly sprinkle filling with almonds.
Bake for 55-65 minutes or until the crust is golden and the filling is just set and no longer liquid in the centre. Cool thoroughly before serving.

Ingredients for topping:

- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar

Using an electric mixer, beat all the ingredients until soft peaks form. Serve with the chilled pie.

Store the pie in fridge for up to three days.

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