pumpkin pie + giving thanks

This time last year, I was bursting with obnoxious holiday spirit. I spent my time planning elaborate Friendsgiving feasts, dreaming up gift ideas, and blasting Christmas music day and night.

Cut to 2014: I’ve barely enough energy to feed myself, let alone write Quality Blog Content/grad school applications (equal priorities in my life, in case you’re wondering). This, of course, is not meant to be a complaint — just an excuse for my silence around these parts. I’ve got so much I want to do and share, but I’m letting other, perhaps more important things, take priority.

One of these important things is, predictably, clocking in time with my loved ones. Most of my Thanksgiving weekend was spent in the company of my family and friends; the remaining time, hanging out by my oven. I was a girl on a mission, determined to demonstrate my love and affection through sugar and butter. Among the many sweets to leave my kitchen: pumpkin pie, with a secret ingredient… Cardamom!

Although it might be a classic, this was my first try making pumpkin pie… and, as to be expected, I made a number of mistakes. I blind-baked the crust for too long, resulting in a darker brown, nuttier-than-usual pastry. The cook time was extended by quite a bite, though that didn’t seem too peculiar given others’ experiences. I prayed that, even if the pie didn’t taste up to snuff, it’d at least look nice with its meticulously braided crust and leaf cut-outs. Fortunately, however, it tasted lovely — not too sweet, creamy in texture, with a lovely herbal je ne sais quoi from the cardamom. Though I’ve breezily managed previous holidays without pumpkin pie, I’m thinking this floral-scented version will be a staple in Thanksgivings to come.

Meta Given’s pumpkin pie

Recipe at Food52

I used the flawless Cook’s Illustrated foolproof pie dough for the crust. My only adjustment: adding a teaspoon of cardamom alongside the cinnamon and ginger.

The crust calls for a secret ingredient of its own, alcohol. Since I only had tangerine-flavored vodka in the pantry (um, don’t ask.), in it went. No sweat; the end result tasted just fine.

Crust rolled out, pre-trim.

I braided the crust in four different segments, gently folding over thin strips of pastry. I then pinched the short braids into the crust, overlapping them to create a seamless look.

Not only did I make the mistake of blind-baking it for too long, but I didn’t let it cool thoroughly before pouring in the filling. Oh well!

Caramelize the pumpkin puree for a few minutes, cooking off a lot of the moisture, until it reaches a nice, thick consistency.

Add in egg, spices and cream to create the filling.

Filling poured into crust.

Finished! Please also notice the crust’s sheen, courtesy of an egg wash.


Even fancier.

One thought on “pumpkin pie + giving thanks

  1. Pingback: greatest hits of 2014 | yours, julie

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