Saturday, September 22, 2007

Pie Blogging (for rundeep, Dawn, or whomever)

My wife, before she started her classes, thought of starting a blog for awhile, thinking she had enough material about what holds us together. (Rest assured, I'd have been sure to link.) But shit, as it does, happened, and she never got the project going. Here's an entry that wouldabeen.

Some background: fifteen years ago or more, my mother sent me away with a box of recipes, the tried and true favorites of my youth. Mom's less a chemist than an empath however, and she wasn't in the habit of rigor when it came to transcribing her technique, more's the pity. When she attempted to put the coveted pumpkin pie variation to paper, it was a negligent wreck, instigating a solid decade of feelings of inadequacy. I mean, how fucking hard is it to balance ten ingredients? But I got Dad's genes too, and a cook + a machinist = a chemical engineer, and I'd be damned if a platter of custard was going to get the best of me. Ten years of tweaking Mom's "dumping" with, you know, measurements and stuff, gets you the recipe for the best pumpkin pie ever. I'm feeling indulgent tonight (which is to say drunk...again), so here you are:

  • 1 small pumpkin, cut in half and baked for about an hour facedown on a cookie sheet
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger (sub a teaspoon of powder if you must)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • dash ground cloves
  • 1-2 tsp lemon and orange zest
  • some grated nutmeg (even though this recipe originally comes from Connecticut, you'll want a real one)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1-2 Tbsp Amaretto. (Add that much again to the pie. A surprising lot of our secret ingredients are booze.)
  • light cream or half and half (roughly half a cup)
If you have a good blender, put all the ingredients in there (scoop the pumpkin meat from the skin, of course). Blend, adding just enough cream to get a pourable consistency. Pour it into a pie crust (lately, I've been going 2 parts crisco to one part butter to great results). Bake it at 425 F for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 and continue baking for 50 minutes or so. It's done when the center is just set (when it jiggles rather than sloshes when you tap the edge). Cool thoroughly before eating. Thank me later.

I'd be lying if I said I'll be thinking of any of you when I enjoy this tomorrow. Good night, everybody!



Dawn Coyote said...

Wow. I like your wife. She had me at "how fucking hard is it to balance ten ingredients?"

And talk about raising the bar! Ten years? I thought I was being creative on my second try at the wheat/dairy/sugar-free Pavlova.

Pie-blogging drunk is the glaze on the donut.

Keifus said...

Hi Dawn, it's likely that you would like my wife, but the drunken pie-blogging voice was all mine. The recipe would have made the hypothetical archive, maybe not the post. (And ten years, but only a couple times a year.)

Wheat/dairy/sugar free? Ye gods. I hope you're funneling in bacon fat or something...


twiffer said...

no pumpkin from a can? over-acheiver!

Keifus said...

Often, the urge for pumpkin pie starts with me wondering "what the hell am I going to do with this pumpkin?"

Also, check the sidebar.


hipparchia said...

alcohol is my secret ingredient. i cook a bit like ioz, if it smells like what it's supposed tp be, or turns the right color, then it's right.

pumpkin pie is irresistible. there are a lot of things i dislike about fall, but the pies! oh, the pies!

Keifus said...

Bourbon is really good in some sauces and in some pies. (Pecan pie with bourbon? Oh yes.) My theories about cooking and booze seem to be corroborated by most chef's memoirs I've read, but haven't actually asked my wife's chef about it.

I've been hungry to try Frenchy's calamari recipe from a few weeks back. May finally get my hands on some fresh t'maters this weekend.

rundeep said...

I make a bourbon hard sauce to go with my pumpkin pie (and some homemade cinnamon ice cream for the kids). Yum. I do love PP, and I like the idea of amaretto with it.

I sometimes make a pumpkin chiffon pie too, which is sort of PIA, but which is a helluva lot lighter after a holiday dinner. Nice post, thanks Mrs. Keif..

Keifus said...

Cinnamon ice cream, you say? [drumming fingers] And you're opening up shop, when now?