Time for Pie

IMG_9509 [1]

With another Thanksgiving right around the corner, I figured it was finally time to make my first real pie crust instead of using one from the freezer section. I went back to this post [2] that had all of your great suggestions for pie crust recipes to try. Thank you. Thank you. And thank you.

Not sure which one to start with, I took pieces and parts from a few that sounded good. Strike that… that sounded easy. It seems I have an irrational fear of working with dough for some reason.

IMG_9228 [3]

To start, I made sure to get all my ingredients super cold, including the metal bowl and pastry cutter.

IMG_9230 [4]

I decided to try out a pie crust with shortening instead of butter… no reason… just because.

IMG_9237 [5]

And I went out to buy a pastry cutter for the task. I’m sure this wasn’t necessary, but it did work great.

IMG_9255 [6]

I also had this pie rolling pin that I bought about a year ago. The ends are tapered so you can turn and roll out the dough in different directions easily… I think. I’m sure this wasn’t necessary either, but it gave me a little extra confidence.

IMG_9242 [7]

Now, don’t laugh at my pie dough. I have a feeling it’s not supposed to look this rough. It would definitely help to see someone do this first. I work much better when I know what things are supposed to look like. I also think I need to see what a lightly-floured surface means, because lightly wasn’t working so much. After rolling it out one time, I had to scoop it up and try again. Definitely leaning toward the generously-floured side of flouring. It reminded me of this doughnut disaster [8].

IMG_9265 [9]

But not to give up, I carefully placed my twice-rolled, tearing and stretching crust in the pie plate, repairing sections where necessary.

And it worked. YAY!

IMG_9270 [10]

Next came the cream cheese layer. It already looks better.

IMG_9286 [11]

Then the pumpkin layer. YUM.

IMG_9311 [12]

When it came out of the oven, it looked like a real pie. And the crust doesn’t look so bad after all.

Rustic… yeah… I was going for rustic if anyone asks.

IMG_9344 [13]

Halfway through baking, I added the topping made of brown sugar, chocolate, pecans and a little maple syrup.

IMG_9442 [14]

It was so good. Just the right amount of texture to go with the creamy filling.

IMG_9377 [15]

If you use miniature chocolate chips, the crunch will be a little more subtle. Or just tell yourself that because that’s all you have on hand.

IMG_9530 [16]

It was really, really good. I was even surprised by how good the crust tasted.

IMG_9467 [17]

I think I’ve opened up a new world of baking. I see more pies in my future. As a matter of fact, I think I’m gonna make up some more crusts and freeze them to keep handy.

Try out this pumpkin pie and have a Happier Thanksgiving.

Here’s the recipe in order of assembly:

Make the Pie dough
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, cold
1/2 teaspoon salt, cold
1 Tbsp sugar, cold
2/3 cup shortening, cold
4 Tablespoons water, cold

  • Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Add shortening and gradually work it into the flour with a fork or pastry cutter. The mixture should be crumbly.
  • Add cold water and stir until combined.
  • Roll in a flat disc-shape, wrap in plastic or a ziploc bag and place in the refrigerator for about an hour or the freezer until firm.

Make Cream Cheese Layer
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp lemon juice.

  • Mix the cream cheese and sugar using a mixer. Add egg and lemon juice and continue mixing until creamy.
  • Place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Roll out dough.

  • Lightly … or more generously flour your surface.
  • Roll out dough in a 13-14 inch diameter to fit a 9″ deep dish pie plate.
  • Carefully place rolled dough in pie plate. Try not to stretch or tear it.
  • Fold the excess dough under or trim it and create a decorative border.

Make the Pumpkin Layer
15 oz. can of pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
2 eggs
1/2 cup evaporated milk

  • Beat pumpkin, sugar and spice with a mixer.
  • Add eggs and beat until combined.
  • Add milk and beat until combined.
  • Spread the cream cheese mixture in the dough covered pie plate.
  • Layer the pumpkin mixture on top and try not to disturb the cream cheese underneath.
  • Cover the edges of the pie crust with foil to keep them from getting too brown and place the pie in the oven.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes then apply the topping before baking the rest of the time needed.

1 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

  • Mix the ingredients in a medium bowl.
  • After the pie has baked for the first 20 minutes, remove the foil and layer the topping on.
  • Bake for another 25-30 minutes. Remove and cool.
  • Cover and chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before serving.


IMG_9492 [18]

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bakerella/4126618597/

[2] this post: http://www.bakerella.com/butterscotch-baby/

[3] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bakerella/4127388136/

[4] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bakerella/4126616539/

[5] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bakerella/4127388376/

[6] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bakerella/4126616933/

[7] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bakerella/4126616775/

[8] doughnut disaster: http://www.bakerella.com/what-was-i-thinking/

[9] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bakerella/4127388834/

[10] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bakerella/4126617305/

[11] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bakerella/4126617433/

[12] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bakerella/4126617551/

[13] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bakerella/4127389358/

[14] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bakerella/4126618003/

[15] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bakerella/4126617869/

[16] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bakerella/4127390490/

[17] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bakerella/4127389880/

[18] Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bakerella/4127390046/