Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pumpkin pie with oat crust

I've been debating even posting this recipe because it just wasn't my favorite, but it has grown on me over the 3 days it has been here, and I finished off the entire last piece for breakfast, so it earned postability with that.  The recipe comes from my King Arthur flour book, and since it is a whole grain book, you can bet it uses some whole grain in the crust.  It has barely any wheat, mostly oats, so I really thought it would be very tasty, but I didn't care for it day 1.  Not sure why.  I wasn't a fan of the oaty or wheaty taste in the crust.  I also wasn't a fan of the pumpkiny flavor of the pie.  I know, I know, it is pumpkin pie for Pete's sake what am I saying it was too pumpkiny.  I think that it tasted more like I was eating a squash and less like I was eating a pie, but I can't say it was because it wasn't sweet enough, because it was actually a bit too sweet that first day.  All I can say is that it improved with age, so I would say if making this again, definitely make it the day before, or 2 days before Thanksgiving.  It was definitely much better day 2, and even better today - lost the oaty or wheaty flavor, and somehow the pumpkin blended better with the other ingredients and didn't stick out as badly day 2 or 3, plus the spices and sweetness were better.   Day 1 I would have rated it about 2 or 2.5, Day 2 3-3.5, and today 4 stars.
Other Warnings - the crust was to be refrigerated overnight - didn't plan for that.  After refrigeration, it needs to come warm up for 15 minutes - didn't plan on that either.  (I ought to learn to read ahead better.)  Also, the recipe called for too much milk in the crust, but I have amended that in my version.  I also think I may try it with less ginger and nutmeg and a bit more cinnamon next time (although that was a dislike of the first day and not so much the second or third day, so if made early, the current spice blend may be just fine.)  Final warning is that this took longer to cook than it said.  DH took it out thinking it was done, but it was a bit too soft for me.  I put it back in for another 10 minutes and covered it with foil.  That did the trick.  It still wasn't super set, that happened as it cooled.

The crust

  • 2/3 cup (2 1/4 oz.) rolled oats, ground for 30 seconds in a food processor (I actually did this, this time, last time I just made and used that amount of oat flour by weight.  I would probably use oat flour for a crust in the future.  It is smoother and I think better for a crust.)
  • 1/3 cup (1 1/4 oz.) whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup (1 3/8 oz.) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons (1 oz.) packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 1 to 3 Tablespoons cold milk or half and half.  (we started with 3 - minimum recommendation in the book - it was way too much.  I was wiping milk off and adding flour.)
  1. Whisk oats, flours, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl.  Cut the butter into cubes and work into dry ingredients using fingers or a pastry blender until evenly crumbly.  Gradually add the milk until the dough is cohesive.  (holds together and doesn't seem dry and crumbly.)
  2. Shape dough into a disk 1 inch thick.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for up to 3 days.
  3. About 30 minutes before ready to assemble the pie, take the dough out of the refrigerator.  Allow it to warm until flexible (15-30 minutes.)
  4. Preheat oven to 425
  5. On a floured surface, roll dough into a 12 inch circle.  Transfer to a 9" pie plate that is at least 1 1/4 inch deep (but not deep dish.)  Place crust in fridge while preparing filling.
The filling
  • 1 can (15 oz.) canned pumpkin 
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup half-and half
  • 3/4 cup honey (I actually used 1/2 cup honey and 1/4 cup agave but just because I was using some very dark honey.)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, melted 
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until smooth.
  2. Pour into prepared crust.  Cover with a crust shield (1st time I got to use mine - loved it.) or foil  Place pie on the bottom rack of oven and bake for 15 minutes (I was lazy and didn't do this - I didn't want to have to move it later - maybe that is why it wasn't ready at the time it was supposed to be.)  
  3. After the 15 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 350 and move the pie to the middle rack.  Bake until the temperature at the center is at least 170 (mine was when I thought it was too runny.)  and a knif inserted 1 inch from the edge comes our moist but clean (it didn't pass this test at 170.)  35 minutes.  (I had to leave mine longer, but because it came out and back in, I can't give an accurate time for me.  Just expect it to take a bit longer.)
  4. Remove pie and cool to room temperature before serving.

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