Posts tagged ‘pumpkin’

December 4, 2011

Pie: and why I feel like the coolest person ever.

So, we made that pumpkin and black bean soup a few weeks ago.  And, since we used real pumpkin, this left us with half a roasted pumpkin, nicely pureed and ready to use. Now, I’ve never made a pie before.  Sure I’ve helped pour filling into crusts my mother or father have made.  And I’ve laid little pie-crust leaves on top of pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving.  But I’d never actually made a pie myself.  But the idea really stuck with me.

Pumpkin to roast

 

So, my first ever pie: pumpkin maple with a crust so delicious I couldn’t believe it.  This was seriously one of the best pie crusts I’ve ever had.

Crust, from Smitten Kitchen:

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces, 16 tablespoons or 1 cup) unsalted butter, very cold

Fill one cup with extremely cold water (Smitten Kitchen recommended putting some ice cubes in there, but since we didn’t have any ice, I just put the whole measuring cup in the freezer for a few minutes).

In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, and salt.  Cut two sticks of very cold butter and put them in with the flour.  Since I don’t have a pastry blender I used our whisk to mix them all together.  I did this pretty quickly, to keep the butter from getting soft.  when the butter was in pieces which Smitten Kitchen calls the size of small peas.

Slowly pour 1/2 a cup of the cold water over the mixture and use a spoon to mix it all together.  Add more water one tablespoon at a time until it’s mostly sticking together well.  Lump the dough together with your hands, kneading a little and gently so that the dough makes a cohesive ball.

Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

When you’re ready to make the crust: get your dough (divided in half since this recipe makes two crusts).  Using a ton of flour roll it out to about 1/4 inch thick. Lift the crust into your pie pan and press into shape.  Use a sharp knife to cut off the excess.  Shape the edges in a pretty way and then weight the bottom with parchment paper and dry beans.  Pre-cook for 10 minutes at 350 then remove from the oven and remove the dry beans.  Use the extra crust to cut out cool shapes.  Pre-cook these for 8-10 minutes on a sheet.

 

 

Next, make the filling.  Make any kind of filling you like. I’ll say that the filling I used was okay, but not phenomenal. It went like this:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Combine the dry ingredients.  Then, separately, combine the other ones.  Mix them all together, pour into your amazing pie crust, and pop in the oven, again, at 350.  Bake about 25 minutes, then put your fun shapes back on top and bake another 10-15 minutes.

It’s a Martha Stewart recipe my mother recommended, but again, it wasn’t amazing filling.  Good, but not as good as the crust.

And here is your pie!

 

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October 18, 2011

Black Bean Pumpkin Soup

This one is adapted only a little bit from Smitten Kitchen’s recipe.  And let us say, this is more worth it than you can imagine.  Do it. Roast the pumpkin.  Enjoy the soup.

First though, roast and peel the pumpkin.  We did this in the morning so that it was all set to go for the soup that night.

1. Half your pumpkin

2. Clean the seeds and strings from inside the pumpkin.  You can save these to roast and eat as a snack.  Put a little bit of water into a baking pan, and set both halves of pumpkin cut-side down in the pan.

3. Roast at 375 for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Ours was probably a 5 lb pumpkin.  For larger or smaller ones the time will differ.  The pumpkin is done when you can easily slide a fork through the skin.    The pumpkin will have a darkened, shriveled look to the skin, but fear not.

4. When it has cooled to be safe to touch, simply peel back that skin with your hands.  It comes off quite easily and can be fairly satisfying to peel.  Then you have your peeled, bright yellow pumpkin all ready to puree.

Black Bean Pumpkin Soup

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 1/4 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup minced shallot
4 garlic cloves minced
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4  butter
4 cups beef broth
2 1/4 cups pureed roasted pumpkin
1/2 cup white wine

Fresh cilantro for garnish

In a food processor coarsely puree beans and tomatoes.

In a 6-quart heavy kettle cook onion, shallot, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper in butter over moderate heat, stirring, until onion is softened and beginning to brown. Stir in bean puree. Stir in broth, pumpkin, and wine until combined and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 35 minutes, or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Garnish with fresh cilantro.