Notes From Lora

I get asked all the time “How do you make the pie so it’s not soggy on the bottom?” … well, your cookbook is giving you the answer just not telling you directly. When you are asked to first bake the pie at 375*F for 15 minutes and then turn the temperature down to 325*F that is to cook the pie shell before the filling has a chance to heat up too much. But of course there is a better, “no-fail” way.

Now I’ll apologize for you missing the demonstration of this added to the sold out Pies & Flans class next week but I will be posting the video of this demonstration here on the Blog after the class for any of you who missed it. I will also be adding a demonstration for mince meat pies in the December class.

When I make my pies, I change the recipe altogether. First, I use a sweet dough shell instead as it provides better flavour and texture. This shell is pre-baked and then I add my cooked pumpkin filling in last. “WHAT?” You ask … yep, cook your pie filling with the same ingredients and amounts as you would normally use but this time you are going to cook this mixture in a double boiler on the stove. Once the mixture has thickened and darkened in colour it is ready to pour into the pre-baked pie shell and allowed to set in the fridge for approximately an hour.

If this doesn’t sound traditional enough for your liking, no problem, par-bake your normal pie shell so that the colour is just starting the turn and it no longer looks translucent. Then pour your warm (from scalding the cream) pie mixture in the shell and bake it 300*F for slightly longer than you normally would. Again you’re thinking I’m crazy … nope, pumpkin pie has a lot of egg and that means that the filling needs to set rather than “bake”. The cracking and pulling from the sides is the egg souffle-ing from the extreme heat and collapsing as it cools. When this mix shrinks it will either pull from the shell or crack down the center if the sides won’t let go .. but I assure you … it will break somewhere! If you allow it to set like a creme brule it will work out just fine!

Make it fresh!

Next week we will talk about rendering your fresh pumpkin so that you have a strong flavour!


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