Last Minute Pumpkin Pie Tips!

Ruth-Anne Ford

My family loves pumpkin pie. When I was growing up we had four pumpkin pies every Thanksgiving for our family of six. That is 2/3 of a pie per person! My Mom always used the recipe from the can of Libby pumpkin. It wasn't until I was out of Pastry school and working at the Fairmont did I realize that pumpkin pie could be improved with just a few tweaks:

- Add 1 Tbl. bourbon or rum to the filling. Dark rum is best. The liquor adds a depth of flavor.

- Try to make your pie the day before you plan to serve it. The spices will mellow and blend together by the second day.

- Play with your pie shells. I normally use a Pâté Sucrée for my pie dough, but I also use a Pâté Brisée or a graham cracker crust. All work well. I sometimes make the pies in a tart tin - just because I like the look. It will bake faster - watch the oven!

- Make your own whipped cream. It is so easy and tasty.  Add that rum that you added to the pie! Just a little bit, it will taste stronger as you are not baking off the alcohol.

- Not worth the effort to use fresh roasted & pureed pumpkin.  I have made pumpkin pies both ways and I really didn't taste the difference.

Try this recipe for a more custardy Pumpkin Pie, adapted from Chef Pierre St. Pierre, Fairmont, Washington D.C. It is best baked in a tart shell. Let me know if you try it!

Weigh sugar, brown sugar, flour, pumpkin.

Custardy Pumpkin Tart Filling

Sugar  5oz.
Brown Sugar 5oz.
AP Flour 3 oz.
Salt 1/2 tsp.
Cinnamon 1 tsp.
Cloves 3/4 tsp.
Ginger 1/2 tsp.
Allspice 1/2 tsp.
Canned Pumpkin 21 oz.
Eggs 2
Rum / Bourbon 1 Tbl.
Cream  850 ml

Pour into par-baked tart shell.  Bake at 300 degrees for about 40 minutes. Or until the center doesn't wiggle when you shake it.


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