Friday, October 14, 2005

The King of Pies.

Well another Thanksgiving, Canadian that is, has come and gone. In less than a week I managed to eat 2.75 pumpkin pies. As a balance, I managed to run an extra 10 km (like I said, I am talking about Canada here), roller-blade an extra 15 km and get in an extra hot yoga class. I think that is a fair compromise as pumpkin pie is my favourite (Canadian spelling) dessert. Pie as a category is it, but pumpkin trumps all others. Pumpkin is great for all sorts of things including soups, mousse, risotto and just baked with sugar and butter. Its character though, is best showcased in pie. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of variations on pumpkin pie filling, but what I want to talk about today is the crust. One word on the filling, know when to draw the line with cinnamon. Necessary yes, more than a teaspoon, no.

Ok, back to the crust. Most recipes say to use an unbaked pie shell. I find this often leaves you with an undercooked bottom and always without flakiness. While I understand that baking the pie-shell “blind” can result in darker edges once it is returned to the oven, I have a solution to offer. Once the shell is partially baked (don’t forget to weigh it down with beans, rice or pie weights) and filled with the pumpkin, use a sharp knife to cut around the rim of the pie to remove it. Don’t let the pie shell cool down once you take it out of the oven either. Remove the rice/beans/weights, fill it, trim it and back in the oven. The bottom of your pie never looked or tasted so good!

Don’t feel left out my American friends, your pumpkin pie day is coming soon!


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