Pumpkin Pie / Winter Solstice

2017: The year I grew my name as A Little Baker from a blog into a baking business.

I went from maybe one order a month to multiple orders a week. The month of December has been the busiest yet, and I'm still trying to find a balance between being a full-time barista, part time baker, and freelance writer, and a girl in her young 20's.

I'm sprawled out on my sofa for the first time in what feels like weeks, and I'm somehow finding the energy to type words about how tired my body and mind are instead of giving into how I feel (which would include a second day of binge-watching Riverdale. Yes, that is what it has come down to.

Here I am, on the second day of actual chilly weather in LA, sipping my third cup of coffee and not feeling one bit of guilt about it. For the first time in years, I have all my holiday shopping done and wrapped before Christmas Eve —incredible! I'm doing everything I can to eliminate stress from now until the end of 2017. One of the stress-relieving tasks on my list is to finally post this pumpkin pie recipe. I hope you also believe that pumpkin pie can extend past Thanksgiving, because I know I do. And in the odd case that you feel repulsed by pumpkin pie in December, I've got a yummy apple-berry pie recipe coming this week as well.

While you wait (or bake) listen to this playlist and celebrate winter solstice. I'll be here, playing this on repeat as I try to find the energy to emerge from my blanket fortress to return to the kitchen.

You know you're a cake baker at heart when you don't own a pie pan; therefore, I baked this pie in a springform tart pan. I do recommend using a real 9-inch or 10-inch pie pan, but if you're in the mood for a deep-dish pie, do feel free to follow in my footsteps.

Pumpkin Pie
Crust recipe by: acozykitchen
Yield: one 9-inch pie

- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, frozen
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons ice water, divided

- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups (1-15 oz. can) pumpkin
- 1 1/4 cup evaporated milk

- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Begin by making the crust: In a large bowl, stir the flour, sugar and salt together.
  2. Cut the frozen butter into cubes and use your hands to rub the butter into the flour until evenly distributed and they resemble the size of peas. 
  3. Add 1/4 cup of ice water and mix. The dough should be shaggy. Add remaining ice water only if needed to form a dough. Lightly flour the counter and knead a few times until the dough comes together. Then, flatten it into a disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or overnight). 
  4. Remove he disc from the fridge and let it come to room temperature for 10 minutes. Then, flour your work surface and rolling pin. Roll the dough out, rotating it and re-flouring every so often to prevent sticking, until it is 13" in diameter. Fold the dough in half and place it into your pie tin. Unfold and lightly press the dough into the sides of the tin. Trim the excess dough, leaving 1" of overhang off the sides of the tin. Fold the sides under and crimp*. Then, refrigerate the dough while you make the filling. Wrap up extra dough and refrigerate. 
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  6. To make the filling: Combine sugars, flour, and spices into a large bowl, stir to combine. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin, and evaporated milk until smooth. Then, add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk well. 
  7. With care, pour the filling into the prepared pie crust until you reach the fluted brim. You may be left with extra filling. You can use it with the extra pie crust to make mini pies (check out these directions). 
  8. Bake for 45-50 minute. The center will still be a bit wobbly. Place on a wire rack to cool. 
  9. To make the whipped cream: Use a whisk or an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to beat the whipped cream with the sugar and vanilla until it reaches stiff peaks. Pipe onto completely cooled pie and dust with pumpkin pie spice. 
*Note: I skipped the crimping step on the pie in the photos because I used a fluted tart pan instead of a standard pie pan.

Little Baker Jess

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Maira Gall