The Ultimate Pumpkin Pie

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Several years ago, I volunteered to make the Thanksgiving pies for my husband’s large, extended-family gathering. All of the greats and grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and second cousins come from far and wide to spend Thanksgiving together. It’s a day filled with lots of laughter, good food and that ‘you’re a part of a great family’ feeling. The food is very important and hasn’t changed much since I married into the clan 16 years ago. Cherry pie has always been on the dessert table as well as pumpkin.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Hodgson Mill Naturally White Flour
  • 1 cup Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 sticks butter, very cold butter cut into Tbsp size pieces
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil, frozen vegetable shortening cut into four pieces
  • 2/3 cup water, Ice water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Hodgson Mill Cornstarch
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cloves, ground
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 16 oz can pumpkin, not pie filling
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 egg, large
  • 1 egg white, Lightly beaten
  • turbinado, sugar for sprinkling
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves

Directions

Put the flour, sugar and salt into a food processor fitted with a metal blade; pulse just to combine ingredients.  Drop the butter and shortening in and pulse only until the butter and shortening are cut into the flour.  This takes about 5 pulses.  Don’t overdo the mixing.  You should still have some good size clumps of butter in the bowl.  While pulsing the machine on and off, add a little bit of water at a time until the dough starts to come together.  Stop and check what’s going on inside by mushing things around with a spatula.  If it looks like it will come together and you can pinch some of the dough together in your fingers, it’s done.  Big pieces of butter are fine.  Pour the mixture out onto a clean counter top and form two disks of dough.  Wrap them in plastic and refrigerate for about an hour.

Roll one of the dough disks on a floured surface to about 14 inches around.  Spritz a 9-inch glass pie pan with cooking spray and then transfer the dough. Trim the overhang to 1 inch.  Fold overhang under and crimp.   Poke a few holes in the bottom of the crust with a fork.

**Fancy Alert** Trim the overhang flush with the edge of the pie plate.  Save and refrigerate dough scraps.

Freeze for 30 minutes.

Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with weights (beans in my case) all the way to the top.  Bake at 400˚ F for 20 minutes or until the sides look dry and are beginning to brown.  Carefully remove the paper and weights and bake for about 8 minutes more or until the bottom is dry and the whole thing is light brown.   Cool crust completely. Reduce the oven temperature to 325˚F.

Whisk together the first 8 ingredients of the filling in a bowl until no lumps remain.  Blend in pumpkin, whipping cream, sour cream and eggs.

**Fancy Alert** Roll out dough scraps and cut into 50 small circles.  Whisk one egg white and brush on edge of blind baked crust.  Lightly press circles onto the edge, overlapping as you go around.  Chill for about 10 minutes.  Brush the decorated edge with egg white and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

Spread apricot preserves over crust; pour in filling.  Bake until filling puffs at edges and the center is almost set, about 45-50 minutes.  There will be about 3 inches around the sides that are set and the center will still be jiggly.  Cool on rack.  Chill in the refrigerator for several hours until cold.  This pie can be made one day ahead.  Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream.



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