Pumpkin Pie in Pecan Crust

Pecan Pastry Crust
½ cup dark brown sugar; firmly packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
16 ounces pumpkin; canned or 2 cups pureed cooked pumpkin
2 large eggs
1 cup evaporated milk

1. Prepare pastry.
2. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
3. In a large bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.
4. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat in pumpkin until combined.
5. Add eggs and milk; beat until smooth and well blended.
6. Pour pumpkin mixture into the pastry-lined plate.
7. Bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes.
8. Reduce oven temperature to 350ºF.
9. Continue baking for 35 minutes longer or until the center of the pie is set.
10. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, then serve or refrigerate.

Pecan Pastry Crust
2 cups all-purpose flour; unsifted
½ cup Pecan Valley Pecan Pieces; very finely chopped
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon sea salt
⅔ cups vegetable shortening; chilled
4 tablespoons ice water; or up to 5 tablespoons

1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, pecans, sugar and salt. With a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
2. Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and stir lightly with a fork just until a soft, manageable pastry forms.
3. Divide pastry into 2 balls. Between 2 sheets of floured waxed paper, roll out one ball to an 11-inch round.
4. Remove the top sheet of paper and invert pastry into a 9-inch pie plate, letting excess extend over the edge.
5. Remove the remaining sheet of waxed paper. Trim pastry edge even with the rim of the plate.
6. To make braided pastry, between sheets of floured waxed paper, roll out remaining ball of pastry and pastry scraps to a 10-inch-by-4½-inch rectangle.
7. Remove top sheet of waxed paper.
8. Cut the rectangle lengthwise into twelve ⅜-inch wide strips.
9. Braid 3 strips together; repeat 3 times with remaining strips.
10. With water, moisten the rim of the pastry in the pie plate.
11. Place braids around the rim of the plate. Trim off any excess braid and pat ends together where they meet.

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