Saturday, November 4, 2017

Learning to make pumpkin pie

Halloween night, my daughter picked me up at 4:00 to help hand out candy to all the little monsters.  I was supposed to take pictures of the costumes but my phone was dead on arrival.  I had one job. . .

Tanya cleaned the flat, made stew and then walked over to the Lawson Pool.  We picked her up at 8:30.  She says she can get a lot done if I am not there to help her.

Tanya has discovered pumpkin pie. She is addicted.  As of yesterday we have a freezer full of pumpkin. My cousin's daughter learned to make pie crust from her maternal grandmother so I volunteered her to teach us.  Once you can make pie crust, you can make anything from it, I figure. We had not had a visit with her since we got here and wanted to see their new (to them) house.  Tanya had knit a scarf and toque for their 4 year old daughter too.  My cousin and his wife picked us up.

We had fun.  The little girl loved her hat and scarf and played outside in the fresh wet snow with Grandma while Tanya and I were schooled in the art of pie crust.  Tanya was hands on while I observed the process. One can read pie crust recipes called never fail but unless you know what to do and when, they will in fact fail.  Process is more important than ingredients.

The pie crust recipe called for half a pound of butter and we had brought a pound so Maryanne doubled the recipe, figuring it would make five pies, two large glass and three small aluminum pie pans. The finished dough was divided into five balls and stuck in the fridge for an hour while the pumpkin custard was prepared.

We were supposed to bring heavy cream but our grocery store was out of it so Maryanne's mom drove to a nearby store to get it.  It had snowed Halloween night and the streets were icy, very icy.  She slid into a curb and flattened a tire. CAA to the rescue. . . eventually. Being in an expansive mood, Maryanne tripled the filling recipe, I think just to use up pumpkin.

The dough was formed into pie crust in the pans and baked for 10 minutes which was new to me. Parchment paper went into the pans on top of the crust and was filled with dry beans to keep the crust in shape.  This jar of dry beans was especially for pie crust and was over 7 years old.  The crusts were then filled with custard and put back in the oven.

We had brought a big glass pie pan and took our pie home when all was finished.  It is now gone where all good pies go.  I got 1/3 Tanya 2/3.  As she said she did the work and it isn't good for me to eat too much sugar. She also said Maryanne was a great teacher but the big pie from Costco for $6 was a lot less work.

Photo by Maryanne. Jack o'lantern by her 4 year old daughter



13 comments:

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    1. Maybe it is the one Linus is waiting for?

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  2. I agree -- that's an awesome jack-o-lantern! Safeway is my purveyor of choice for pumpkin pies. They always get the spices just right!

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  3. some time it's better to buy than to bake..hahah..

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  4. Love the jack-o-lantern! I'm a pumpkin pie fanatic - I always process my own pumpkin and make the pies and pastry from scratch. The bought ones are cheaper and easier, but I enjoy the whole process of making the pies, and they still taste better to me.

    I hope Tanya isn't too homesick - maybe the pumpkin pie discovery will help?

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    1. She is doing not bad, considering. Pumpkin pie and we have an aquatic centre about 20 minute walk from here. She has a monthly pass. 2 hours public swimming in the evenings and all afternoon weekends. She loves to swim.

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  5. I've never attempted pumpkin pie but I have to admit I make a pretty good pie crust.... apple, cherry, plum, strawberry and rhubarb pies, all yummy. But OlderSon is the pumpkin pie expert, he makes them every Thanksgiving and Christmas and Easter and a number of times in between.

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    1. Pie crust is the secret ingredient. I love fruit pies. And raisin pies, and pecan pies.

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  6. I just figured out that you are back so I had to catch up! Glad you are still on this side of the dirt and reasonably functional.
    What I know about pie making is minimal as I am more into the consumption of said pie. My stepmother swore that the best light and flaky crust came from using lard. She did make good pies so maybe there was some truth to it.
    It is really good to catch up on your world. Be well and stay out of Tanya's way so she can get something done.

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    1. Stepmother is right about the lard, it makes the fluffiest pastry, but it doesn't sit well with my vegetarian daughter-in-law.

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    2. Hi, Jono. Yes, still on top of the grass. Lard, shortening and butter. Every cook swears by her own.

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