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.


Caramelized Pumpkin Puddings


I generally use roasted butternut squash for any holiday baking that calls for pumpkin purée. Personally, I think sugar pumpkins are pretty flavorless and not really worth the effort, but that was before I met the winter luxury (a pretty sexy name for a squash if you ask me). They are an heirloom variety that I had never seen before a trip up to Maine to assist a shoot that was covering the Common Ground County Fair last month. There was a beautiful farmer's market at the entrance to the fair with quite a few varieties of heirloom squash that I hadn't seen before and I couldn't resist bringing a few back to New York with me (big surprise). My hands down favorite was the winter luxury, a curious little pumpkin covered with netting like a melon that I admired my on my mantle for about a week before I gave in and decided to make something with it. When I cut it open the flesh was beautifully orange and when roasted it was smooth with hints of caramel and toffee. It was so naturally sweet and tasty that I ate the leftover puree plain as I stood over the stove whisking this very pudding. The pudding below is a perfect foil for the winter luxury's smooth texture and flavor, but if you aren't up to roasting your own pumpkin, canned will do just fine just don't skip the caramelization step.

p.s. Does anyone in have a winter luxury supplier in New York? I haven't been able to find them at my local farmer's market and I would love to find a few more before Thanksgiving.

Caramelized Pumpkin Puddings with Brown Sugar Cream and Seeded Brittle

yield 6-8 individual parfaits

If you'd like to roast your own pumpkin for this recipe here is a great tutorial from Aimee at Simple Bites. The caramelization technique below comes from Meta Given by way of Food52 and it is a winner.

Caramelized Pumpkin Pudding

1 1/2 cups roasted pumpkin puree

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup sugar

3 large egg yolks

3 Tablespoons cornstarch

pinch salt

1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon allspice

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1. Spoon the pumpkin puree into a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes or until the puree looks slightly dry and caramelized. Keep warm while you prepare the pudding.

2. In a bowl or measuring cup, whisk the milk, cream and egg yolks. In medium saucepan whisk together the sugar, salt and cornstarch then whisk in the milk mixture, followed by the vanilla bean seeds and pod.

3. Cook the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly until it has thickened and is bubbling gently, 8-12 minutes.

4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the warm pumpkin puree, spices and butter. Remove the vanilla bean pod and save it for another use. Pour the pudding into a dish and cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until completely cool.

Brown Sugar Cream

1 cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract, bourbon or rum

Combine the cream, brown sugar, and extract or booze in a large mixing bowl and whip until medium peaks form.

Seeded Brittle 

I used this recipe and added in 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds with the pepitas.

To Assemble

Whisk the chilled pudding until smooth, then layer it with the whipped cream in pretty glasses. Top with a few shards of brittle right before the puddings are served.