Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Pandemonium

Well, it's finally here, friends...that time of the year when a torrent of pumpkin finds its way into our hearts and stomachs. That lil' orange squash is like a really hot guy on a motorcycle who blows through town for a spell, absorbing your every thought and desire, until one day, without word, he bolts. And although you're sad to see him go, you know it's for the best, because if you're really honest with yourself, he's kind of beginning to annoy you.

But for now, that sexy little pumpkin is here and we want to take advantage. With Thanksgiving less than two weeks away, it's time for the all-American classic...the pumpkin pie. But we Tarts find ourselves asking, 'what is the ultimate PP? Crisco or butter crust? And the it time-honored Libby's or contemporary Paula Deen's? What about a pie for the gluten-free and sugarless?' Well, because we're bananas, we decided to spin out four versions. That's right...1 pie, 4 different ways, brought to YOU on 4 separate days! And on Day 5, we have a special blind Tart Tasting with our Rustic Tart, Rusty Schwimmer.

*Before we begin, let's go over our Tart Tips for pie-making essentials. (We learned the hard way.)

Sili Mat - or any quality pastry mat. Really helps with rolling out the dough, right Erin?

"Yes, Danielle, it really does help."

Pie weights - or coins, pesos, whatever you got, cuz you're a Tart and don't read recipes thoroughly and must improvise. (Whose earring is that?)

Cute Crust Cutters from Williams-Sonoma (Thanks mother-in-law!)

Now for Pie Number One!

Filling: Smitten Kitchen's version which uses candied yams cooked with pumpkin for ultimate flavor!

Crust: Best Ever Pie Crust from Danielle's Grandma Elsie. Although the thought of Crisco makes us want to yak, it sure makes a good crust.

Best Ever Pie Crust

*Makes 2 to 3 crusts

3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup shortening, plus 1 Tbsp.
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1/3 cup cold water

Mix flour and salt. Cut shortening into flour with a pastry cutter or the old school way...criss-crossing with two knives...

Combine egg, vinegar and water, then blend with flour mixture. You can do it by hand or in a commercial mixer, but make sure not to handle too much either way.

Roll out, then place crust in pie pan and flute the edges.

If you like your crust less tender, place pie weights on top of crust and bake for 10 minutes on 350 degrees, otherwise, add filling and bake according to recipe. Yum!

Results on Friday. We'll be back tomorrow with Pie Number 2!

1 comment:

  1. Okay wait. I'm lost. A pie weight? How did I get to be 40 and I've never heard of that? You put pennies on top of your crust and bake? Is that it? Oh Erin... help me! Seriously... I want to know! Email me?