Pumpkin Pie is said to have been invented by the early French settlers in America, but today there is no dish more American then this. Traditionally baked for Thanksgiving alongside with turkey it is one of the signature dishes of the holiday dinner. I like the color and the flavor of this pie. It is all about the Fall season and I especially like to decorate it with leaf shaped cookies.
For the sweet pastry dough:
2 cup bleached all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1 tablespoon pieces
2 large eggs
For the filling:
1-½ cups canned pumpkin
½ cup water
2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1-¼ cups light cream
For the caramel:
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons water, hot
Pie pan, leaf shaped dough cutter, cookie sheet, parchment paper.
Preparing the dough:
Fit a mixer with a metal blade. Combine the dry ingredients in the bowl. Pulse a few times to mix.
Add the butter to the bowl.
Add the egg to the bowl ....
.... and pulse until the dough forms a ball.
Spread a teaspoon of flour on the work surface and transfer the dough onto it. Press and knead the dough quickly, until is smooth and uniform.
Shape the dough into a 6 inch disk. Wrap with plastic foil and refrigerate until the dough firm, for at least one hour.
Preparing the filling:
Preheat oven 350F. Butter and spread a little bit of flour in a pie pan.
Pour the pumpkin in a bowl. Add the water, eggs, egg yolks ....
.... sugar, salt ....
.... cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cream. Combine the ingredients thoroughly.
Assembling the pie:
Flour lightly a work surface. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Cut the dough in half. Reserve one half placing it back in the refrigerator. Place the other half on the work surface.
Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough in a round disk larger then the pie pan.
Fold the dough in half over the rolling pin, and unfold the dough on the pie pan.
Press the dough on the bottom and walls of the pan. With your fingers, pinch the border to make a fluted edge.
Pour the pie filling in the pan. Place the pie in the oven and bake for about one hour until the filling is set and the crust is golden.
Preparing the decoration:
While the pie is baking …..
Remove the reserved dough from the refrigerator. Place on the lightly floured work surface. Flatten the dough in a large disk approximately 1/8-inch thick. Using a leaf shaped cutter, cut the dough cookies.
Transfer the cookies to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Decorating the pie:
Prepare the caramel: Place the sugar and the lemon juice in a small saucepan. Mix together very well with a metal spoon and place over low heat. Stir the sugar-juice once in a while until it becomes dark gold and begins smoking. Add hot water, bring it to a boil, and remove the pan from the heat.
Place a few of the cookies in the center of the pie. With the help of a small spoon, glue the “leaves” all around the edge of the pie. The left over cookies can be served separately.