Happy Thanksgiving!

The original plans for my contribution to Thanksgiving dindin at my parents house was going to be little baby pumpkin pies made with my mini pie maker. Needless to say, I am having a tough time carrying out that plan because I am just so exhausted.

Yesterday was our goddaughter’s first birthday and we were more than happy to celebrate with her parents, as well as paternal grandparents last night over the birthday baby’s favourite meal: Indian take-out, believe it or not ^_^

She is a pretty adorable Iittle girl and as a wonderful surprise to everyone, she took her first real walking steps without holding onto anyone last night after dinner!

With the weather changing, the sun is going down again earlier every night and so my internal clock is totally whacked out. When we left for home last night, I thought it was about 930pm, when in fact it was only just about 845pm — not that it really mattered, the birthday girl was pretty much ready to call it a day by that point since she as starting to get the beginnings of a sugar crash from her birthday cake consumption anyhow.

By the time we got home, I was in pain, so there was Moose involved again, but I really didn’t want to go to bed just yet, so I ended up starting Project #Ranma! Amigurumi #2 — Pachirisu! once I was comfortably settled & cozy in bed at around 930pm.

By the time I woke up this morning, I felt pretty miserable — exhausted, more pain, groggy and just all around bleh. All the plans I had for making my baby pumpkin pies was pretty much gone and thrown out the window. I was going to make all the pastry cases today, have them rolled & cut out so they would be prepped for the Sunday morning bake-off and then in the afternoon I could do other things like roast the two spaghetti squashes we got from the CSA to bring for dindin. The plan was that I would just have to make the filling, bake eight to twelve little pies and then leave them alone for a few hours afterwards to make sure they had more than ample time to cool down before we packed everything up in my cupcake carrier to bring over to Mom & Dad’s for dinner at 6pm.

Sadly, my little pies won’t be accompanying us to dindin tomorrow, but instead, we will just be bringing one deep dish pumpkin pie. I was really looking forward to the idea of giving everyone their own pies, each served with a happy blob of whipped cream in the middle, or perhaps entirely covering the whole thing, depending on how each person wanted to enjoy their pie.

Maybe I will try and plan for mini pumpkin pies when we next play D&D since I have so much pumpkin purée in the freezer now — the grocery store ran out of canned pumpkin when I went shopping on Thursday, so instead of driving all over the place trying to find some, I decided to buy a Japanese pumpkin, roast it at home and purée it myself.

This was my first try at making a pumpkin pie from scatch-scratch and I am hoping that it will taste better than a store-bought pie or one made with canned pumpkin. It has to, right? It’s homemade!

The recipe I used was actually two Williams Sonoma pumpkin pie recipes that I combined together to make my own version of their deep dish spiced pumpkin pie recipe. The first recipe was for classic pumpkin pie which also includes the recipe for deep dish pie crust. The second recipe was for a spiced pumpkin pie and originally piqued my interest because it used fresh pumpkin, more spices and less sugar — all of which are bonuses, in my opinion.

If I used this recipe to make mini pumpkin pies, I don’t know how many pies you would get out of one recipe’s worth of pastry & filling. The recipe below is obviously for just the one deep dish pie, but should I ever get a chance to make them in mini pie form, I will update the recipe at the end.

The crust recipe below is supposed to be divided in half so you get two discs — one to be used to make the crust and the second to be used to make a whole shwack of pretty, decorative, pastry leaves to be used for the rim of the pie crust. You can do as you see fit. Personally, I will just use the dough at a later date for a second pie and am just chucking that second disc into the freezer until then.

One other note — I don’t own “pie weights” and I am of the opinion that using a whole pie’s worth of beans, lentils, rice or what have you, in place of said weights, is a shameful waste. I don’t know if people will take issue with what I’ve chosen to do instead, but what I just lined the crust wih a piece of parchment paper and then put a regular-sized glass pie plate on top. I baked the whole thing as per normally instructed for blind baking and it seems to have turned out perfectly fine. No useless pie weights floating around taking up space and no waste of perfectly good dried pantry staples. ^_^

Deep Dish Pumpkin Pie

For the filling:
2 cups pumpkin purée
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup milk

For the crust:
2 1/2 cups flour
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, cut into pieces
6-8 Tbsp ice water

Crust directions:
In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar & salt. Pulse to combine.
Add butter, pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Add 6 Tbsp ice water and pulse twice. If it’s still too dry, add 1 Tbsp more water at a time, pulsing twice after each addition.
Turn the dough out and divide in half. Shape each into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap & refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

When ready to bake, take the dough out of the fridge and let stand for 5 minutes.
Roll out one of the discs into a 12″ round and transfer to a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan.
Trim the edges as needed and make pretty edges if desired.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Line the piecrust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights and bake for 20 minutes.
Carefully remove the parchment and weights and bake about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Meanwhile, reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.
In a food processor, combine pumpkin, brown sugar and maple syrup. Add the spice mixture, eggs, cream and milk and whizz to combine.

Pour the filling into the prebaked piecrust and bake until the center is set, 60-65 minutes. You may need to consider covering the edges of the crust with aluminum foil after 30 minutes if they brown too quickly.

Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool completely, at least 2 hours, before serving.

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