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Monday, November 1, 2010

Pumpkin Apple Butter Pie with Gingersnap Crust

It's that time of year when pumpkins are plentiful. I'll be using these over the course of the next few weeks to make a variety of yummy goodies. The pumpkin on the top left is called a Godiva pumpkin. Best part about this one is the seeds. They are soooo good toasted. Yes, I will use the flesh too, but the seeds are supreme. The smaller two in front are sugar pie pumpkins. I used one of these to make the pie in the following recipe.

PREPARING THE PUMPKIN:
To prepare the pumpkin I usually cut it in half, take out seeds and stringy center, brush with olive oil. Turn the two sides down on a large baking sheet that has a somewhat high rim. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven and add about a cup of water to the baking sheet. Cook until soft, approx 30-45 minutes depending on the size of the pumpkin. Let cool.

Scoop out the pumpkin and put in a food processor. Throw away the shell. Process the pumpkin until smooth. Use or freeze.



One small sugar pie pumpkin made this delightful confection. You don't have to make the leaf edging, you could make a traditional fluted edge. I like the way this looks though and it presents well to guests. Save your self some time and invest in some small leaf shaped cookie cutters. It helps make the edging look beautiful and saves you from having to cut out all the leaves by hand. Wouldn't this make a fabulous addition to your thanksgiving desert table?




*Pumpkin Apple Butter Pie with Gingersnap Crust*

CRUST:
2 cups all purpose flour
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
large pinch of black pepper
2 teaspoons dark molasses
7 Tablespoons chilled margarine cut into 1/2" cubes
6 Tablespoons chilled butter, cut into 1/2" cubes
4 Tablespoons (about) ice water

FILLING:
1 1/4 cups pure pumpkin
3/4 cup whipping cream
6 Tablespoons apple butter
6 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt

ASSEMBLY: 1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water (for glaze)

FOR CRUST:
Combine first 8 ingredients in food processor and blend 10 seconds. Add molasses and process jut to blend. Add shortening and butter, using on/off turns, cut in until mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-sized pieces remaining. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add enough water 1 Tablespoon at a time to form moist clumps, tossing with a fork. Gather dough into ball. Divide dough into 2 pieces, 1 piece twice as large as second piece. Flatten each piece into disk. Wrap each in plastic and refrigerate until chilled though, about 3 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated. Soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out)

FOR FILLING:
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to blend. (Filling can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

TO ASSEMBLE: Roll out larger dough disk on a floured surface to 13" round. Transfer to a 9" diameter glass pie dish. Press dough into dish. Cut off excess dough flush with the outer edge of dish; reserve dough scraps. Freeze 30 minutes.



ROLL out smaller cough disk on a floured surface to 1/8" thickness. Using a small sharp knife or cookie cutters, cut out 30 leaves (each about 2" long x 1" at widest point) to use as a crust border. Transfer leaves to a large ungreased baking sheet. Gather dough scraps; roll out to 1/8" thickness. Cut out additional leaves of assorted sizes. Transfer leaves to another large baking sheet. If desired using tip of knife, mark veins on each leaf, cutting about 1/3 of way into dough (do not cut through dough). Chill all leaves until cold, at least 30 minutes.



LINE crust with aluminum foil; fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake crust at 350 degrees until sides are set, about 20 minutes. Remove foil and beans. Bake until crust is golden brown and bottom looks dry, piercing with a toothpick if bubbles form,a bout 10 minutes (edge of crust may shrink slightly). Transfer to rack; cool.



PLACE pie dish with crust on work surface. Place backing sheet with leaves nearby. Brush bottom of 1 leaf with water. Press leaf, wet side down, gently on rim if crust. Brush bottom of another leaf with water, press onto crust, overlapping first leaf slightly and with tip pointing in a different direction from first. Repeat with enough leaves to cover rim. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)



POSITION rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Brush leaves around rim with egg glaze. Pour filling into crust. Transfer pie dish to baking sheet. cover rim of pie with foil to prevent excessive browning.



BAKE pie until filling is barely set and still slightly shiny in center, about 45 minutes. Remove foil collar. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely.

Brush remaining leaves with egg glaze. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Using spatula, transfer leaves to racks to cool. Arrange some of the leaves decoratively atop filling.

This pie is very very good. Not too sweet and the gingersnap crust is a welcome change from traditional pie crust. I saved myself some time by making the pumpkin ahead (it freezes well too), as well as making the dough and filling the night before. The next morning all I had to do was assemble and bake.

I hope you enjoy this. Please let me know if you make it and how yours came out.

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