Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Happy Thanksgiving.
Today is the day Americans give thanks for their bounty.  Officially anyway.  But really, we should be giving thanks always, all of us, all around the world, for the things we do have.  Not always wanting what we don't have.  

This year I give thanks for so many things; my family and friends, a roof over our heads, our health, food on our table, beauty all around us. Such abundance! I am very grateful. I try to give thanks everyday for what I have.

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” — William Arthur Ward

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” — Albert Einstein

“Take full account of the excellencies which you possess, and in gratitude remember how you would hanker after them, if you had them not.” — Marcus Aurelius

“Whatever our individual troubles and challenges may be, it’s important to pause every now and then to appreciate all that we have, on every level. We need to literally “count our blessings,” give thanks for them, allow ourselves to enjoy them, and relish the experience of prosperity we already have.” — Shakti Gawain

“For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“When eating bamboo sprouts, remember the man who planted them.” — Chinese Proverb

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” — Buddha
“Only a stomach that rarely feels hungry scorns common things.” — Horace

Pumpkin Pie
I found the recipe here on Serious Eats. I doubled it because if I am going to make pie, I need to make at least two. I filled 3- 9 inch round pie pans. One with no crust. I did not make the crust but would like to try it some time. I have highlighted the filling part just in case you buy a crust. That makes it so much easier. If you do have the time, making your own is always so much better.

I did change the part with the yams as I do not buy canned. I added a bit more sugar to compensate. I have to say though that it is not necessary.

1 1/4 cups (6 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into 2 pieces
2 tablespoons cold vodka (see note)
2 tablespoons cold water

For the filling:
2 cup heavy cream
2 cup whole milk
6 large eggs plus 4 large yolks
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (29-ounce) can pumpkin puree
2 cup cooked yams
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons praline flavored maple syrup or regular
4 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (freshly grated if you have it)
2 teaspoon table salt

For the crust: Process 3/4 cup flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about two 1-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until dough collects in uneven clumps, about 10 seconds; dough will resemble cottage cheese curds with some very small pieces of butter remaining, but there should be no flour visible. Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining 1/2 cup flour and pulse until the mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.

Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Flatten dough into 4-inch disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.

Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 400°F. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out on floured work surface to 12-inch circle about about 1/8 inch thick. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll into pie plate, leaving at least 1-inch overhang on each side. Working around circumference, ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand. Refrigerate 15 minutes.

Trim overhang to 1/2 inch beyond lip of pie plate. Fold overhang under itself; folded edge should be flush with edge of pie plate. Refrigerate dough-lined plate until firm, about 15 minutes.

Remove pie pan from refrigerator, line crust with foil, and fill with pie weights or pennies. Bake on rimmed baking sheet 15 minutes. Remove foil and weights, rotate plate, and bake 5 to 10 additional minutes until crust is golden brown and crisp. Remove pie plate and baking sheet from oven.

(I did not prebake my crust.)

For the filling: While pie shell is baking, whisk cream, milk, eggs, yolks, and vanilla together in medium bowl. Combine pumpkin puree, yams, sugar, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in large heavy-bottomed saucepan; bring to sputtering simmer over medium heat, 5 to 7 minutes. Continue to simmer pumpkin mixture, stirring constantly and mashing yams against sides of pot, until thick and shiny, 10 to 15 minutes. Break up clumps as it cooks.  An immersion blender would great at the end.

Pour into shell and bake pie for 10 minutes at 300°F and continue baking until edges of pie are set - 20 to 35 minutes. Transfer pie to wire rack and cool to room temperature, 2 to 3 hours. Cut into wedges and serve.


Mary said...

Lori, your pies look and sound delicious. I hope you have a wonderful holiday. Hugs and Blessings...Mary

Charlene said...

A little vodka is a good idea! SMILE.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Shelby said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Barbara Bakes said...

That does sound like a rich, delicious pumpkin pie. Happy Thanksgiving!

grace said...

that's one heck of a pumpkin pie, lori! if all of 'em were this decadent, i'd be a bigger fan (in more ways than one...)! :)

Ingrid said...

I'm grateful for your friendship, Lori! I'll be even more grateful when we get to hang out, bake, & eat together!

Mimi said...

I made this exact pie for Thanksgiving. It's in the Cooks Illustrated holiday baking magazine. The vodka crust is now my favorite, you really can't mess it up. I did pre bake the crust it and the pie turned out great, no soggy crust.

Lori said...

Mimi- I know. I didnt include the source because they do not like it when you do. They do now want their name associated with peoples adaptations. They also have been pretty nasty about people posting their recipes- since their recipes are not free. I changed a few things to make it my own so it is not their recipe.