It's pumpkin pie season! Which means it's almost Thanksgiving and Noah and I haven't made any plans other than making pumpkin pie. I'm such a good planner when it comes to some things (planning my day, planning vacations, planning what's for dinner), but when it comes to holidays I'm the worst. Maybe it's because I'm just hoping they'll plan themselves. Last year I waited until the last two weeks before Christmas to start Christmas shopping. NOT doing that again!
This pumpkin pie is the best pumpkin pie I've ever made. Seriously. I feel like I recently mastered pie crusts and the secret ingredient is sour cream. You can't taste the sour cream in the baked crust, but it definitely makes it more tender and flaky. And the filling for this pie is what all pumpkin pie fillings should be: rich, smooth, creamy, and full of pumpkin pie spice. Plus there's bourbon and nothing can go wrong if there's bourbon in it.
The crumble topping and cinnamon whipped cream really make this pie sing, though. Noah and I almost ate all of the crumble before it even went on top of the pie! I'm not usually a big fan of whipped cream (I know, I'm weird), but match it with a heavy dash of cinnamon and I'm sold. We had to make the whipped cream in our food processor, which worked ok, because we still haven't received our hard-won stand-up mixer! Grrrr.
A final note. I'm made these pies in four different cast iron skillets because 1) I've never made pie in a cast iron skillet before and I wanted to try it out and 2) Noah thought it would be a good picture. One downfall is that a couple of the pie crusts took on the "meaty" flavor of the cast iron seasoning. Soooo, if you do decide to make it in your cast iron, scrub it with salt or use a brand new one.
// Pumpkin Pie with Bourbon Crumble and Cinnamon Whipped Cream // Makes two 9" pies
This pie is amazing! Seriously. The crust is flaky and crisp and the pumpkin filling is boldly spiced with loads of cinnamon, cloves, allspice, ginger, and nutmeg. I can safely say that this is the best pumpkin pie I've ever made. The bourbon is optional, but if you're on the fence I definitely recommend adding it in because it gives the pie and crumble topping an extra zing. You may have some extra pie crust to play with, depending on how deep your pie dish is. Use it for decorations or bake some pie crust cookies.
For the crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons sour cream
12 tablespoons frozen butter
8-10 tablespoons ice water
For the pumpkin filling:
6 lb pie pumpkins (about 3 small)
1 pint heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
4 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 cup bourbon
For the bourbon crumble:
1 1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teasppon salt
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted
4 tablespoons bourbon
For the cinnamon whipped cream:
1 pint heavy cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1. For the crust, mix together the flours, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Have ready the sour cream and ice water. Cut the frozen butter into 1/4 inch pieces and add to the flour mixture. Using your fingers (or a pastry cutter) rub the butter into the flour. The butter may seem really hard at first, but keep at it, it'll soften up! Eventually, the butter should be the size and shape (i.e. flattened) of your thumbnail. Mix 8 tablespoons of ice water into the sour cream, then dribble the liquid into the flour mixture, stirring the flour mixture constantly with a fork. The dough will start to come together into a ragged mess. If it seems really dry, at another tablespoon or two of ice water, then dump out onto a clean surface and knead a few times to bring the dough together. Tip: fold the dough in half as you knead to make layers of butter that will result in a flakier crust. Cut the dough in half and shape each half into a flattened disc. Wrap the pieces in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
1. To make the filling, preheat oven to 350°. Cut the pumpkin(s) in half and scoop out seeds. Place halves hollow side down on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour. While the pumpkin(s) are cooking, combine the heavy cream, milk, eggs, yolks, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk until well combined and set aside. When pumpkin(s) are done, remove them from oven and let cool. When they are cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh into a food processor. Blend the pumpkin until very smooth, about 10 minutes, scraping down sides as needed. Measure out 4 cups of pumpkin and place into a large cooking pot. Add the sugar, maple syrup, salt, and spices. Cook pumpkin mixture, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes over medium-low heat until most of the pumpkin liquid has been evaporated. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the cream/egg mixture. Stir in the bourbon. Set aside until needed.
3. To make the crumble mix together the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and pecan in a medium bowl. Melt the butter, then add the butter and bourbon to the oat mixture. Stir until well combined and set aside.
4. Butter two 9" pie pans. Remove one disc of dough from the fridge and roll it out on a well floured surface until it is large enough to cover the bottom of the pie dish with 1 inch left over around the rim. Transfer the dough to the pie dish and trim any excess dough. Fold the outside edges of the dough under itself then crimp it along the edge of the pie plate to seal. Repeat for the second pie. Fill both pie crusts with baking stones or beans wrapped in tin foil to prevent the bottoms from puffing up and ruining your crusts. (This is not optional). Bake at 350° for 15-18 minutes or until golden, but not browned.
5. Remove pie crusts from oven and take out stones or beans. Pour the filling evenly into both crusts. Top with oat crumble. You can use the extra dough to make decorative designs if you wish.
6. Bake pies at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until mostly set, but middle still jiggles a bit. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
7. To make the whipped cream, mix together the cream, powdered sugar, cinnamon, and salt using a food processor, hand mixer, or stand-up mixer. The mixture should for "firm peaks".
8. Serve pumpkin pie with a dollop of cinnamon whipped cream. Mmmmmm.