Saturday, October 8, 2011

Maple Pumpkin Pie

It's almost Turkey Day, and the weather here couldn't be better!  It's sunny, warm (25 degrees C with a humidex!) and beautiful.  I got to do a 23.6 kilometer walk this morning to soak it all in, and enjoyed every minute of it.  The leaves were beautiful, my company was wonderful, and I did my second entire half-marathon distance.  Plus, this time it was the trail we'll follow for the 9-Run-Run, so we're ready for the real thing.  Today was a fantastic day, and that was just before noon!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving dinner on the farm.  I've got to make a point to remember my camera.  The farm's beautiful this time of year, and I'd be disappointed to miss my opportunity to get pictures of all the changing leaves.  My sister's making dinner tomorrow, and my contribution is pumpkin pie.  I decided not to brave the grocery stores today, so I adapted from an existing pumpkin pie recipe using ingredients I had on hand.  And not just any pumpkin pie, but one from The Happy Baker Chick's The Happy Baker cookbook: "I need a real man, Maple Pumpkin Pie."  I get such a kick out of Erin, and the recipes haven't let me down so far.  I've made this one before, and a few of the biscotti batches.   There are a few more recipes in the book, so I'm sure they'll pop up here at some point.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Maple Pumpkin Pie
Makes: 1 pie

1 1/2 cups (canned) pumpkin
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp sea salt
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/4 cup half-and-half cream
3 eggs

Thaw crust (if using frozen) and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl or electric mixer, combine pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt.
Mix slowly until combined.

Stir in maple syrup.

Stir in half-and-half cream.

Stir in eggs, one at a time.
 Before / after eggs were mixed in
Pour filling into crust.

Bake whole pie for one hour or until centre is set.

At the same time: Bake tarts on a baking sheet for 40 minutes or until centres are set. Cool on a wire rack.

Note: I shut the oven off at the one-hour point and let the pie cool in the oven.  This ensured that my cats didn't get at it! and that the centre set since I was checking periodically on the tarts and ended up letting out some heat.  Cooling it in the oven or on the counter top lets the residual heat keep cooking it. If it's stuck in the fridge, this won't happen, and you might end up with a soggy, under-cooked pie.

Note also: The Happy Baker Chick's recipe is intended to make one pie.  I used a purchased pie shell because I was out of graham crumbs to make her graham crumb crust, so I think it may have been smaller than the called-for 9-inch one.  To compensate for the extra filling, I made 7 tarts.

Source: Heavily adapted from The Happy Baker: A Dater's Guide to Emotional Baking by Erin Bolger, page 79.

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