December already!!!! Almost every month, I find myself saying, "Wow, (this month) already? Time is flying by." but it's true! Especially since I'm working so much and the days just blur together into one giant never-ending work day. Despite that, I am still trying my darndest to get into the Christmas spirit! I used my one day off this week to put up my decorations and lights and play a bit of Christmas music, which helped, and I made this pumpkin pie and that definitely helped, too! I always have so many ideas for Christmas things to make for the blog and I get so excited, but then disappointed because I simply don't have the time. I mean, I barely have time for laundry these days...
I used one of my rare two day weekends to make this pumpkin pie completely from scratch (short of growing the pumpkin myself) and it was really rewarding. I always try to make everything from scratch and I can't remember the last time I had to open a can in order to bake something. So to buy a cute lil Sugar Pie pumpkin, cut it up, roast it, puree it, and make a pie out of it is not out of the ordinary for me. But I understand that for some people it can be a little daunting. It's not! Honestly! Whole Foods carries this species of pumpkin (ideal for pies because of the low water content and sweetness) and you can roast it a day ahead to make the whole process easier.
If you have an awesome blender, this whole pie is way easier. You can puree the pumpkin and make the filling, blitz up the pecans, even make the pie dough in it, and make the chantilly in it, too! I've been wanting a high powered blender for ages and now that I have one, I'm using it for EVERYTHING. We have a couple Vitamixes at work that we use multiple times every day for all kinds of things - blending fluid gels, creating powders, emulsifying sauces, grinding spices, pureeing soups - so I'm super familiar with the durability and power of these awesome machines. Seriously, we beat the shit out of our Vitamixes at work.
If you're an eager beaver and are already planning out your Christmas menu, like some people I know (looking at you, Dad) then be sure to bookmark this pie for your big day! There's so many things you can do the day before to prep, so on the actual day you don't have to do everything at once and figuring out how to share the oven with a pie and a bird. Roasting and pureeing the pumpkin, making the pie dough, and making the chantilly can all be done the day before. So on the actual day, all you have to do is roll out the pie dough, bake it, mix up the filling, and bake it which can all be done in the morning so the oven is free later for the meat/sides/etc. And you can also spend time with your family and friends, which, y'know, is kinda the whole point of having everyone around for the holidays.
This post is sponsored by Vitamix. I only work with companies that I personally would use even if I wasn't asked to. Thanks for supporting the people that help support me!
Brown Butter Pumpkin Pie with a Pecan Crust and Brown Butter Chantilly
Pecan Pie Dough
Recipe from Dahlia Bakery Cookbook
60 g pecans
200 g all-purpose flour
20 g brown sugar
5 g kosher salt
150 g unsalted butter, freezer cold, cut into 1/2 inch dice
39-58 g water, ice cold
1 teaspoon white vinegar
Brown Butter Pumpkin Pie Filling
Recipe adapted from Dahlia Bakery Cookbook
1 Sugar Pie Pumpkin, about 1 kg
2 tablespoons oil (such a vegetable or canola)
104 g brown sugar
69 g granulated sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
237 g heavy cream
79 g whole milk
150 g eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
75 g brown butter, warm
Brown Butter Chantilly
200 g heavy cream
15 g maple syrup
35 g brown butter
For the pecan crust, put the pecans in the bowl of a food processor or blender and pule until finely ground. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the food processor/blender to make sure none of the nuts are stuck to the sides. Add the flour, brown sugar, and salt, and pulse 2 to 3 times to mix the dry ingredients with the nuts. Add the butter and pulse 10 times or a few more until the pieces of butter are slightly smaller than peas.
Combine the 39 g of ice cold water with the vinegar and gradually pour through the opening in the lid and pulse 3 to 4 times, or until the mixture looks shaggy. Remove the lid and squeeze some of the dough, which should come together as a clump. If the mixture seems too dry, add the remaining 9 g of water and pulse a few more times.
Remove the dough and turn it out onto a work surface. Use your hands to gather the dough into a flattened disk. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before rolling.
Make the brown butter chantilly. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until scalded. Pour the cream into a blender and add the brown butter and maple syrup. Blend on medium speed until the brown butter is completely emulsified into the cream. Remove from the blender and pour into a container. Refrigerate for 4 hours.
Meanwhile, start the pumpkin pie filling. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Use a large heavy knife to quarter the pumpkin, then scrape out and discard all the fibres and seeds. Cut the pumpkin quarters in half crosswise to yield 8 pieces of pumpkin. Put the pumpkin pieces in a baking dish or sheet and toss with the oil. Arrange the pumpkin pieces rind side down, cover the pan with foil, and use the tip of a knife to cut a few small steam vents in the foil. Put the pan in the oven and roast until the pumpkin feels quite tender when poked with the tip of a paring knife, about 1 hour. Remove the foil and continue to roast the pumpkin until the pumpkin is very soft, about 20 to 25 minutes more. Remove the pan from the oven. As soon as the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to peel off and discard the skin. Put the pumpkin flesh in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. You should have 400 g of pumpkin puree (keep any extra for other uses, like sauces or soups!). Set aside the 400 g of puree.
Unwrap the chilled dough and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a circle approximately 12 inches in diameter. Transfer the dough to a 9 inch pie pan. Trim the excess dough to 3/4 - 1 inch overhang. Fold the overhang up and over or down and under and use your hands to press gently on the dough all around the circumference to form a neat pastry rim 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Use your thumb and two fingers to create a crimped edge.
Chill the shell for 15 to 20 minutes to firm up. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Line the pastry shell with a piece of parchment and fill it with dried beans or rice or pie weights. Bake until the bottom of the dough is baked through but not yet browned, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the parchment and weights, then bake for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
In a blender, combine the pumpkin puree, sugars, flour, spices, and salt together and pulse a few times to blend together. Add the cream, milk, eggs, vanilla extract, and brown butter and blend on the lowest speed until smooth. Let it sit for a few minutes to let any bubbles come to the surface, then either pop them or skim them off the surface.
Pour the mixture into the pie shell and place it in the oven. Bake at 400 F for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 F and bake until the custard is set, 55 to 60 minutes. When the pie is done, the center of the pie will not look soft and jiggly when you shake the pan. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool on a wire rack for at least two hours before slicing and serving.
Whip up the brown butter chantilly until stiff peaks form and add to your pie slices when serving. Enjoy!