My Favorite Pumpkin Pie

winter luxury pumpkin pie | apt 2b baking co.JPG

I posted a photo of this sunshiney pumpkin pie a few days ago on Instagram and lots of you nice folks asked for the recipe, so here it is! Its the pumpkin pie recipe from my book and it includes a few of my very favorite things - maple syrup, creme fraiche, and roasted squash puree. You can definitely use canned pumpkin puree too, but roasted butternut squash is nice if you have it. The crust in this photo was a little experiment that I am working on, but I have linked to my favorite crust below. Feel free to use what you like if you have another one though. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Winter Luxury Pumpkin Pie

from Sweeter off the Vine

Makes one 9-inch pie

 A couple of years ago, after attending the Common Ground Fair in Maine, I fell in love with the winter luxury pumpkin. Winter luxuries are an heirloom variety of pumpkin prized for their caramel infused flavor and smooth texture. They are admittedly hard to find, even in NYC, but if you can locate one where you live I highly suggest picking it up. They are about the size of a sugar pumpkin and they have beautiful netting on their skin, almost like a cantaloupe. Winter luxuries (that name!) have thinner skins than most hard winter squash so they can’t be stored as long as other varieties, which is part of the reason they have fallen out of favor with farmers. Substitute roasted butternut squash or canned pumpkin purée if winter luxury pumpkins aren’t available where you live. If you are concerned about over filling the pie shell, bake any extra filling alongside the pie in buttered ramekins until it puffs slightly in the center.

1 disc of your favorite pie crust - This is mine  

 2 cups (450g) roasted butternut squash purée (canned pumpkin works too!)

3/4 cup Grade B maple syrup

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup (112g) crème fraîche

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat it to 425ºF.

 To blind bake the crust:

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie dough into a roughly 12-inch circle about 1/8- inch thick. Place it into a 9 or 10-inch pie plate fold the edges under and crimp. Dock the crust with a fork. Chill the formed crust in the freezer for 15 minutes or until very firm. Line the chilled crust with a piece of parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Slide the crust into the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the edges are golden and crisp. Carefully remove the parchment paper and weights then bake the crust for 10-15 more minutes or until light golden all over. If the crust puffs up at all while baking gently press it back into the pan with an offset spatula or fork. Let the crust cool slightly while you prepare the filling.

Turn the oven down to 350ºF. 

Whisk all of the filling ingredients together until well combined. Then strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve for maximum smoothness.

 Put the baked pie shell on a baking sheet, then pour the filling mixture into the shell. Slide the pan into the oven and bake until the filling is slightly puffed and the center wiggles just slightly when you shake the pan, about 30 minutes. Cool the pie completely before serving with a dollop of whipped cream.


Rhubarb and Gin Sorbet with Rose Cream

rhubarb and gin sorbet with rose cream

When Spring finally arrives every year I don't get worked up about ramps or spring onions when they hit the market. I enjoy sunshine and magnolia blooms and dogwood trees and cherry blossoms just as much as the next gal, but the only thing I really get excited about every May is rhubarb. It is my very favorite vegetable disguised as fruit to cook with and it is so welcome after a long winter of apples and pears.

rhubarb and gin sorbet with rose cream

We get plenty of delicious rhubarb in NYC, but I can never seem to find locally grown barb that is as vibrant in color as the stuff I used to find in the Northwest. I hear it is because those deep red plant starts are hard to find in the Northeast, but thanks to an online friend turned real-life friend I recently found myself with a glut of the most perfectly rosy red stalks of homegrown rhubarb. Camille to the rescue! With gorgeous rhubarb! Maybe I'll just have to keep my eye out for a deep red rhubarb start next time I am visiting my family to bring back with me.

rhubarb and gin sorbet with rose cream

This year, to start off my rhubarb extravaganza (and there will be an extravaganza) I bring to you this wonderfully complex dessert that is surprisingly simple to put together. It is cool and tart, floral and herbal, creamy and sweet all in one. If I was Southern I might say, y'all gotta try this one. Instead I will say, seriously you guys, if you have an ice cream machine this should be the first thing you make with it this Spring.

If you peek over at the sidebar you may notice something new and very exciting. I am so happy to announce that this here blog was featured as one of Saveur's Sites We Love. You can check out the post here.

Oh, and sorry for the extended break between my last post. I'll be back soon, with more rhubarb! More rhubarb recipes from the archives of this blog can be found here.

Rhubarb and Gin Sorbet with Rose Cream

Rhubarb and Gin Sorbet 

yield, roughly one quart

The herbal flavor of gin complements the sweet-tartness of this rhubarb sorbet wonderfully and the small amount of alcohol makes the frozen sorbet perfectly scoopable. If you don't like gin, feel free to substitute vodka or leave the booze out entirely for a more family-friendly treat. Just make sure to thaw the sorbet for a few minutes before scooping.

8 ounces water

7 ounces granulated sugar

1 lb rhubarb stalks, the rosiest red ones you can find, chopped into 1-inch pieces

2 Tablespoons lime juice (or the juice of one juicy lime)

2 Tablespoons light corn syrup

2 Tablespoons gin, plus a bit more to serve (I used Hendrick's)

1. Combine the sugar and water in a medium sized saucepan and heat on medium high, stirring occasionally until  the sugar dissolves. Add in the rhubarb and simmer until the rhubarb is very tender and beginning to fall apart, about 10 minutes.

2. Carefully transfer the mixture to a blender (or use an immersion blender) and blend until smooth. Add in the lime juice and corn syrup. Chill thoroughly.

3. Just before churning, stir in the gin. Freeze the chilled mixture in an ice cream machine, according to the manufacturer's instructions. Store in the freezer in an airtight container.

Rose Cream

The soft perfume of rose water goes beautifully with tart rhubarb sorbet, but if you don't like the idea of flowers in your food feel free to leave it out. The sorbet is wonderful on its own. For vegan rose cream, try whipping chilled coconut milk. Instructions can be found on this post

from the archives.

4 ounces chilled heavy cream

4-8 drops rose water

2 teaspoons granulated sugar (vanilla sugar if you have it)

Whip the cream to soft peaks then add in the sugar, followed by the rose water (one drop at a time) until desired flavor is reached.

To Serve

Top scoops of sorbet with a few drops of chilled gin and a spoonful of rose cream.

rhubarb and gin sorbet with rose cream