Friday, November 28, 2014

Turning pumpkin pie disaster into a win

Photograph ©2014, Lori Korleski Richardson
Pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving tradition. And this year, disaster.

Those of you who have known me or have followed this blog for some time have heard me confess that I am a cook, not a baker. Never was that more apparent than on the morning of Nov. 27, 2014.

Jim and our friend Carla had gone on a country walk, our friend Rob was getting some much needed sleep, and I was doing prep for our big dinner to come. Every thing was going well. I remembered in years past that the recipe on the side of the pumpkin can made WAY too much filling for my 9-inch pie plate and I didn't want to make two crusts. So I thought, why not make the crust in my 10-inch springform pan? I'd done quiches that way and they had come out fine, even though the edge slipped down a bit and dropped over the filling; at least they were easy to cut at the table.

So I found a recipe for an extra crispy crust (a key ingredient: vodka) and proceeded according to directions, but neglected to notice the pie weights (which in my kitchen are dried beans) were supposed to go on top of the foil during the blind bake. So when I took it out of the oven after 15 minutes, the beans decided to stay right where they were. And when I tipped the pan to shake them out, the entire crust came tumbling out. By the time I got it righted and all the beans off, it was in five big pieces and a lot of little ones.

I really didn't have time to start over, since the prep and resting times for it were well over an hour. So I took the pieces, fitted them in the 9-inch pie pan the best I could so that they came up the side but not over, and pressed them together. I took the dough that had been left over, made it into a tight ball and rolled it out. I took one of my small decorative cookie cutters and cut out as many little flowers as I could. I then placed them, overlapping slightly, on the top edge of the pie plate, and pressed them into each other and the piecemeal crust.

Then I took the recipe off the side of the can and modified it thusly. Success!

Lori K's shallow dish pumpkin pie

Serves 8

2 large eggs
1 can 100% pumpkin (15 ounces)
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
4 ounces heavy cream

Beat eggs until foamy. Add pumpkin and stir well. Add the sugar and spices and stir until combined thoroughly. Add the cream and mix well. Pour into the crust. Cook for 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool. I served this with 4 ounces of heavy cream whipped with about a tablespoon of hickory syrup and a teaspoon of vanilla. Be sure to freeze the beaters and bowl for a half hour or so before whipping for the best result.