Sunday, October 23, 2005

Brown Butter Pumpkin Pie with Cranberries and streusel

Well, that's a mouthful, say that three times.

Yesterday I posted a nice post about how I was almost finished with my sewing projects and was looking forward to playing in the kitchen today. Well, somehow blogger ate my post. It was rather poetic and exciting. (At least for me) So I'm sorry you won't get the benefit of yesterdays prose.

However, today was the perfect blustery day to try a little bit of creativity in the kitchen. I have a pumpkin pie recipe that we love. I found it two years ago in an issue of Bon Appetit and have pretty much adopted it as my pumpkin pie. You can look at it here for the original version. Well, somewhere in the last few days I got it into my head that I needed to play with it a bit and figure out the best way to put cranberries into my pie. How could that not be good. So this was a grand science experiment. I started with the pie filling.

I was going to add some tartness to the pie, so I wanted to up the sweetness in the actual filling just a tad, without increasing the sugar. My first thought was the butter. I had actually been thinking about cutting the butter in half and adding some evaporated milk instead. Then I thought about browning the butter and that won. So one stick of butter, browned, went into the filling, along with 1/4 tsp of cinnamon. Next stop, the streusel. I already have eliminated the crystallized ginger. I am not a big ginger fan, so I leave that out. Instead I add 1/8 tsp. of powdered ginger to the flour and sugar in the streusel. I looked at the nuts, and decided that I like pecans better with cranberries than walnuts, so I swapped those out and increased the nuts to 1/2 cup.

Then I thought of the cranberries. The last time I made a pie with cranberries, it was an apple pie with a cranberry ribbon. There were a lot of instructions that came down to basically making a simple cranberry sauce to layer in the pie. I decided that a can of whole berry cranberry sauce would fit the bill. Except that we used that can for dinner the other night, and I only had about 1/2 cup left- and I wanted more than that. Ah, that jar of lingonberry preserves should fit the bill. Again, about 1/2 cup there too. So I mixed the two together. Now, where to put the cranberry sauce.

After careful thought, I decided to try a layer in the middle of the pie. I poured about 1/3 of my filling into the crust. (Which, by the way, I did not follow the directions and prebake the crust. 45 minutes in the oven is plenty of time to bake.) Then I dollopped cranberries all over the filling- staying away from the edge. I poured the remaining filling over, topped with streusel, and baked it. The flavors turned out quite well. I'm not quite done with it, but it is good. I think I still need to cut the butter in half, and I think I should use all lingonberries, as they are a smaller, more delicate berry than a cranberry. The only problem I have with the pie, is the length of time to bake. I checked it at 45 minutes, and since it didn't jiggle when shaken, I called it done and pulled it out. It probably could have used another 10 minutes or so, as the very center is quite soft.

But here is the recipe as I made it tonight. It is very rich- and very good, but like I said, I plan to tweak it a tiny bit more, and of course, if you feel anyhting in particular would be beneficial...just let me know!

* Exported from MasterCook *
Pumpkin Pie with Spiced Walnut Streusel
Serving Size : 10

1 Butter Crust Pie Dough disk
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/8 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 tablespoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter -- chilled and cut into cubes
1/2 cup pecans -- chopped
1 can pumpkin -- 15 oz. (pure pumpkin)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 large eggs
1/2 cup unsalted butter -- melted and browned
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup cranberry sauce -- whole berry

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to a 9-inch deep-dish glass pie dish. Trim overhang to 1/2 inch. Fold overhang under; crimp edges decoratively. Refrigerate 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375. Line crust with foil. Fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until edges begin to brown and crust is set, about 17 minutes. Remove foil and beans. Bake until golden brown, pressing with back of fork if crust bubbles, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer to rack, maintain oven temperature.
FOR STREUSEL: Mix flour, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg in medium bowl. Add butter; rub in with fingertips until coarse meal forms. Stir in nuts.
FOR PUMPKIN FILLING: Whisk pumpkin, sugar, and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time. Whisk in melted butter and vanilla. Pour into prepared crust, layering cranberry sauce in as desired.
Sprinkle streusel over the filling. Bake pie until streusel is golden and filling is set, about 45 minutes. Cool on rack at least 2 hours. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.
Description: "Pie"Source: "Bon Appetit Nov. 2003" - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 360 Calories; 17g Fat (40.5% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 52g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 87mg Cholesterol; 33mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 3 Fat; 3 Other Carbohydrates.
NOTES : Very very good. Has a texture similar to sweet potato pie. Maybe would like a little clove and cinnamon in the filling next time. Also would be good with a 1/8 tsp. rum extract with the vanilla. Definitely make again.

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