316/365 - Maple-Bourbon Pumpkin Pie
As we do at least once or twice every football season, we had my grandmother over today, to watch this afternoon's nail-biter of a Patriots game and to have dinner. Nothing terribly fancy, just a meatloaf, mashed potato, veg, and dessert. Yes, meatloaf. I like meatloaf. And they served it in the cafeteria at the office this week, but with rice on the side and not mashed potatoes (which is just wrong), so I had a craving.
Thing Two, my usual "sous chef", decided that we should make a pumpkin pie for dessert, so this is what I came up with. It's a basic pumpkin pie, but with some of the sugar swapped out for maple syrup and vanilla traded for some bourbon. Topped it with some brown sugar whipped cream, and got a few shots in (under some lights I had set up in advance for the purpose) before setting it on the table.
I like composition here, but something throws me a bit about it. I think it might be the runner not completely covering the butcher block in the upper corners, but I can't quite put my finger on it.
Nikon D7000 w/Nikkor 18-200mm @ 46mm, 1/250s @ ƒ/6.7, ISO100. One SB-700 camera left, 85mm zoom, 1/8 power, shooting through white umbrella. Second SB-700 bounced off the ceiling, 120mm zoom, 1/2 power. White bounce card to the right of the scene (I'm not sure if that really did anything, though.) Cropped and did some minor color adjustment in Aperture.
for the crust
6 oz. all-purpose flour
1 tbl. sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 oz. vegetable shortening
3 oz. cold unsalted butter (3/4 stick)
1 1/2 oz. ice water
1 1/2 oz. cold bourbon
for the filling
15 1/2 oz. can pumpkin puree
1/4 c. maple syrup (preferably grade B)
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger powder
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 c. milk
3/4 c. heavy cream
4 large eggs
2 tbl. bourbon
for the whipped cream
1 c. heavy cream, cold
2-3 tbl. light brown sugar
1/4 c. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Start by making the crust. Put the flour, sugar, and salt in the work bowl of a food processor with the shortening and 1/3 of the butter, and pulse until it has the texture of coarse sand. Cut the remaining butter into 1/4" cubes, add to the bowl, and pulse another 6-8 times until you're left with pieces the size of small peas. Transfer into another bowl, and slowly integrate the water and bourbon by sprinkling on a few tablespoons at a time and stirring to distribute. When the dough holds together when you squeeze it, form into a disc, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour.
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Put the now-chilled dough on a well-floured surface, and roll out to a circle large enough to line a 9" pie plate with. Transfer to the pie plate, crimp the edge, and dock the bottom with a fork several times. Put in the freezer for 5 minutes, then remove, line with parchment, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the pie weights and parchment and continue baking for 20 minutes until just beginning to brown and the bottom no longer looks damp.
While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. Put the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, sugar, salt, and spices in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until glossy, 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the bottom burning. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, cream, eggs, and bourbon and whisk well. Whisk the hot pumpkin mixture into the cream a dollop at a time until about half is whisked in, then add the remaining pumpkin and whisk until smooth.
When the pie crust is ready, immediately turn the oven up to 400°F.
Pour the filling into the still-warm crust, and put into the 400°F oven. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven temperature down to 300°F and allow to bake until set but still slightly wobbly in the center, 30-40 minutes. The filling should reach a temperature of about 170°F-175°F. Remove from the oven, and cool on a rack until room temperature, 4-5 hours.
When ready to serve, make the brown sugar whipped cream. Put the heavy cream and brown sugar into a cold metal bowl. I prefer my whipped cream a little less sweet, but you can go to 3 or even 4 tablespoons of sugar easily if you like yours sweeter. Beat on medium-high speed until the mixer leaves trails in the cream, then add the vanilla and sour cream. Beat to medium peaks (be careful not to overbeat it, or you'll end up with brown sugar butter.)
Top slices of the pie with a generous dose of the whipped cream and serve.