Thanksgiving is just around the corner for our American friends and I thought I’d try my hand at improving my standard pumpkin pie. Instead of using canned pumpkin or steaming the pumpkin as I have in the past, I decided to try roasting the pumpkin instead. The result brought out more of the pumpkin’s natural sweetness and reduced the water content, which think helped improve the creamy texture of this delicious pie. I had a couple of die hard Pumpkin Pie fans try it and they declared it to
be the best they had ever tried.
2 ½ cups flour
2 tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp salt
1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water (Only enough to make a dough form.)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Using a food processor or a pastry blender cut cold butter into flour, brown sugar and salt until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Small pieces of butter should still be visible. Pour vanilla into cold water then pour over the mixture and work in by tossing with a fork until dough begins to form. Use your hands as little as possible and work the dough as little as possible.
Divide dough into 2 balls, flatten into 2 rounds, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to rest for a minimum of 20 minutes.You can make your dough the previous day but make sure you take it out of the fridge for 10 minutes to warm slightly before rolling out.
Roll the dough into a 12 inch round and place in the bottom of a deep 10 inch pie plate. Push the dough into the corners and ensure that it is not stretched at all or it will shrink from the edge. Trim dough to edge of plate. Use the other round to cut out leaf shapes for the edge of the pie. Score a leaf vein pattern in the leaf shapes. Brush the edge of the crust with a little egg wash made from whisking together 1 egg with a couple of tablespoons of water. Place the leaves along the edge and brush the tops with egg wash as well. Chill the prepared pastry shell until ready to use.
Dice about 4 cups of peeled raw pumpkin and roast on a parchment lined cookie sheet for about 40 minutes or until the pieces are lightly browned and fork tender. Cool completely and puree in a food processor until very smooth.
Whisk together until well blended:
2 cups roasted pumpkin puree
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/3 cups whipping cream
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 large eggs
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch ground cloves
Pour filling into the prepared shell
Bake at 375 degrees F for about 15 minutes before reducing the heat to 350 degrees F and baking for about 25 to 30 minutes until the center still jiggles a little but is set.
Cool completely before serving. Use extra baked leaf shapes to garnish if desired.