Anna Olson’s Pumpkin Pie: October Recipe Testing

by byn on October 15, 2010

in Pies, Tarts & Pudding

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Every month on Anna Olson’s Facebook page, she posts a new, yet-to-be published recipe, and invites her fans to test it out. This Pumpkin Pie was the first one I tried, just in time for Thanksgiving last weekend.

I’ve never been a huge Pumpkin Pie fan, but I’ve started experimenting with pumpkin in baking recipes this Fall, so this seemed fitting. Anna asks for feedback in three main areas:

1. Clarity of Instructions – The ingredient list and directions for this recipe are very straightforward, but there was one thing that irked me. For the pastry, the recipe calls for 2 tbsp of whisked whole egg. Say what? I think what’s going on here is that the recipe must have originally been for a double crust, and for this Pumpkin Pie, it was cut in half. So by asking for 2 tbsp of whisked whole egg, they are essentially asking for 1/2 an egg. How did I do this? I cracked an egg into my mini liquid measuring cup, whisked it a little bit with a fork, and poured a little out at a time until I ended up with 2 tbsp. Normally, I would just put in the whole egg, but pastry can be so sensitive, so I wanted to follow the instructions exactly. Anyway, besides that little delay, everything else was easy to follow. I would also point out that this is definitely a dessert to make the day before, due to the 3 hour chill time required before serving.

2. Yield and Bake Time – The recommended bake time was spot on here, I didn’t need to make any adjustments. As for the yield, obviously this only makes one pie. It’s not like cookies where you might get more or less, depending on the size. Not much else to add here.

3. Taste – Amazing. My family thought it was delicious, and the co-workers I brought the leftovers to were also very impressed. The crust had a bit of a nuttier, heartier flavour because of the whole wheat flour mixed in. The filling was smooth and perfectly spiced, although I left the allspice out because I didn’t have any. What really put it over the top for me were the Maple Cinnamon Toasted Pecans that Anna recommended in her Testing Notes. They added a great crunchy contrast to the silky filling. Although not in the original recipe, I also made some Maple Whipped Cream to top the whole thing off.

Is there any more fitting dessert for fall?

P.S. On a side note, my Thanksgiving sides turned out to be a bust! I had high hopes for this Sweet Potato & Sage Brulee recipe which had structural issues, and I added too much sour cream to my mashed potatoes. My only success were Barefoot Contessa’s Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits, and I didn’t even get a picture of them. Moving on…

Pumpkin Pie with Maple Cinnamon Pecans and Maple Whipped Cream

Source: Anna Olson’s Facebook Page

Ingredients

Whole Wheat Pastry

1/2 cup + 3 tbsp all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cold and cut into cubes

2 tbsp whisked whole egg

1 tbsp cold water

1 tsp white vinegar or lemon juice

Pumpkin Pie Filling

2 cups pumpkin puree

1 can (300mL) sweetened condensed milk

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp cloves

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/2 cup whipping cream

3 eggs

Maple Cinnamon Toasted Pecans

1 cup pecan halves

2 tbsp maple syrup

pinch cinnamon

Maple Whipped Cream

3/4 cup whipping cream

1/4 cup maple syrup

Directions

  1. For pie crust, mix flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or two knives, until the dough is a rough, crumbly texture and the butter is the size of peas. Whisk egg, water and vinegar or lemon juice together and pour over the flour/butter mixture. Mix until dough comes together, adding more cold water if needed. Shape dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least an hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface, to a circle just under 1/4 ” thick. (If the dough is too hard, let it come to room temperature for 30 mins – mine was fine to roll out straight from the fridge). Place the dough into a 9″ pie plate, crimping the edges. Stick it in the fridge while you get the filling ready.
  3. For filling, whisk all ingredients together until evenly blended. Place the pie plate onto a baking tray (just makes it easier to move in and out of the oven), and pour the filling into the pie crust. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 and bake the pie for 40 more minutes until the crust is light brown and the filling is set, but with a jiggle in the centre. Cool the pie to room temperature, and chill for 3 hours before serving.
  4. For the toasted pecans, toss the pecans with the maple syrup and cinnamon. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 12-15 minutes in a 350 oven.
  5. For the whipped cream, combine whipping cream and maple syrup, and beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
  6. To serve, cut a slice of pie, spoon a dollop of whipped cream on top, and sprinkle with pecans.

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