11.22.2013

Pumpkin Spice Latte Pie


According to my calendar and every social media network out there, Thanksgiving is just a few days away....which means, I still have some time to fit in a few more pumpkin recipes before the whole thing gets overrated. More importantly, I still have time to fit in a pie for your Thanksgiving menus. I didn't forget about you guys, I promise! I'm actually starting to get better at this whole holiday oriented recipes thing--super proud of that!


I'm also super proud of not giving up on posting this pie for you guys. You see, I ran into some difficulties when making it the first time around. Difficulties that include but are not limited to: runny pie filling, pie spillage, burnt pie filling, smoky oven...you get the idea. When it rains, it pours in my kitchen. But the sun comes out eventually.


Let's take it back to how it all started though. I would love to take credit for turning a coffee house classic into a pie, but Pillsbury thought of it first and I just borrowed the idea. Pillsbury, however, did it with canned pumpkin and a store-bought pie crust, and I wanted to do it from scratch.

Seemed simple enough, until I ignored the fact that my fresh pumpkin puree was very watery and then somehow overwhisked the filling and gave it this weird frothy top that burned in the oven and if that wasn't bad enough, I grabbed the oven rack after 15 minutes of baking to cover the crust edges and the spilling sploshed all over the oven floor and over the crust edges I was trying so hard to protect. This seems to happen to me every time I get overly excited about a recipe...it's like I somehow jinx myself. But let's talk good news!


After countless hours spent researching all the different ways to make pumpkin pie to achieve the best results, I picked up a few tricks. The first was cooking the pumpkin beforehand with sugar and spices to really bring out the flavor and get rid of any metallic notes from the can. And yes, I did end up using a can the second time around because I didn't have enough fresh puree left over- however, this is also effective in evaporating extra water from the pumpkin so it would be helpful either way.

The second thing was straining the pumpkin through a mesh strainer after cooking it- this makes sure the filling is super silky smooth. The third thing I read was to remove the pie from the oven when the center looks firm but still jiggles slightly, like Jello. This is crucial because if you overbake the pie, you're in turn overcooking the eggs and that makes the filling grainy. The fourth and final trick I learned was brushing the crust with egg wash before pouring in the filling- this keeps the crust from getting soggy and eliminates the need to blind-bake it...how awesome is that?


I made sure to follow all of these steps to a T because I couldn't afford to have another pumpkin pie mishap. And by the grace of God, I ending up baking the most perfect pumpkin spice latte pie ever. Well, almost perfect. I kind of sort of bought one of those pie shield things that goes around the edges of your crust and it more or less crushed my fancy crimped edges...but, you can't win 'em all I guess!

It feelsl like a win though, because the pie was incredibly delicious and smooth like no other, and the hints of coffee and spice were just perfect. And since I've done all the research for you guys, you now have a fail-proof pie recipe to add to your Thanksgiving dessert tables. Or you could make it for yourself to enjoy while you're doing all that cooking- the caffeine will certainly come in handy!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Pie

Yield: One 9-inch pie
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Ingredients:

For the crust:
1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed

For the filling:
2 cups canned pumpkin (or fresh pumpkin puree)
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder
3 eggs, room temperature
One 12oz. can evaporated milk

1 egg plus 1 tablespoon water, for the egg wash

For the whipped cream topping:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Directions:

In the bowl of a food processor, add flour, salt, and sugar. Pulse a few times to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water and pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when you squeeze it between your fingers. If it doesn't hold together, add up to 2 more tablespoons water, one tablespoon at a time. Do not over process the dough.

Turn dough out onto a work surface and gather it up into a ball. Shape the ball into a thick disk, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a medium-sized saucepan, add pumpkin, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and instant coffee. Stir together over medium-low heat until thick and glossy, about 5-7 minutes.

Strain the pumpkin mixture through a mesh sieve into a medium-sized bowl. Set aside to cool. In another bowl, whisk together eggs and evaporated milk until well combined. When the pumpkin mixture has cooled down a bit, slowly stir in cream mixture until incorporated.

Remove dough from the fridge, unwrap, and place it on a large piece of parchment paper. Place another piece of parchment paper over the dough. Roll the dough out to a 12-inch circle. Slowly peel away the parchment paper on top, then gently flip the pie dough onto the pie plate like so, and peel away the second piece of parchment paper.  If the dough is sticking to the parchment paper, place it in the fridge for 10 minutes or so to firm up again. This will make the removal of the parchment paper easier.

Once parchment paper is removed, gently press the dough into the pie plate. Crimp or decorate the edges, if desired. Transfer to freezer for 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 

In a small bowl, whisk together egg and water until combined. Brush the bottom, sides, and edges of the chilled pie crust with the egg wash. Pour filling into the crust.

Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 25-35 minutes, or until the center looks set but still jiggles slightly.

Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for three hours before decorating and serving.  

In a medium sized bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat together heavy cream and sugar on high speed until stiff peaks form. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a large decorating tip. Pipe rosettes around the perimeter of the chilled pie. Drizzle caramel sauce on the whipped cream, if desired.
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