Pumpkin pie is synonymous with Thanksgiving. I mean, who doesn't like pumpkin pie? Cough...cough...my sister doesn't think she likes pumpkin pie, but really, she does. She hasn't had a good one yet, I think.
I was shopping in SoHo and stopped in the Vesuvio bakery for a latte. I saw a GINORMOUS pumpkin pie and immediately knew this was the recipe I had to try for our Thanksgiving dinner. The spectacular thing about this pie is that its crust was HUGE. I'm talking like more than 2" tall, not small like the kind you find at your local Safeway or Whole Foods, or even your basic pumpkin pie recipe. I asked the barista where the pumpkin pie came from, and she told me it was baked fresh at City Bakery.
Since everything is readily available online, as soon as I got home, I googled City Bakery Pumpkin Pie. Sure enough, the LA Times had printed the recipe for aspiring home bakers everywhere to use. I sent it off to my sister to approve. best. decision. ever.
What to do with leftover pie filling? Throw a cup of whole milk into it, heat it to about 175-185 degrees, and then chill and MAKE IT INTO ICE CREAM!
Patting down the crust. I looove how easy the graham cracker crust is to make. But next year I want to make two pies. One pecan and one pumpkin.
Jigglypuff...waiting to go into the oven
And here is the finished product cooling down!
Here are our ingenius pumpkin tartelettes. The recipe follows all the way at the bottom of the blog post.
Pumpkin Pie, borrowed from City Bakery
Special Time Constraints: You need to chill this overnight, so make it the day before you plan on serving it. The crust also needs about 10 minutes to chill in the fridge before pouring the pie filling in.
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (unsweetened)
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp. granulated sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk (save the egg whites for Saturday morning when you are trying to get back to being healthy)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- pinch of cloves
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup fine graham cracker crumbs* (you can either buy this ready made, or buy the whole graham crackers and pulse them up in the food processor)
- 3 tbsp. flour
- 1/2 cup melted butter, cooled slightly (we used European style unsalted butter)
- 9" tart pan (we only had a 10" tart pan...so I just free-handed a little more graham cracker/flour/sugar mixture and it worked out fine - we had enough filling to get a nice sized filling)
In a medium sized bowl, mix the ingredients through the salt, and mix until well blended (basically the last 3 ingredients and the 1 tbsp. sugar are for the crust).
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the graham crackers in a large bowl, and mix in the 1 tbsp. sugar and the flour in with the graham crackers. Mix it all together with your hands. Then, slowly pour in the butter little by little until everything is well mixed with a wet, grainy texture.
Spread the graham cracker mixture evenly over the tart pan. Stick it in the refridgerator for about 10 minutes (if you don't do this - the crust won't be solid enough and the liquid will soak through).
Pour the filling into the crust and bake anywhere from 25-40 minutes. I set the timer for 25 minutes at first, and then set it for 5 minute intervals, checking to see when the pie was NOT jiggly but more solid and just a teeny bit soft in the center. If it is too jiggly, keep on baking it.
Allow the pie to cool fully to room temperature, and then stick it in the fridge overnight.
My sister and I were anxious to try the pie before Thanksgiving (um...no...we wanted to SAMPLE to make sure it would be edible). So we made the same recipe again for tartelettes. The crust made enough to fill probably 15-20 mini tartelette pans. But - we ran out of graham crackers. So, we took about 1 cup of whole, unsalted, plain almonds, and ground them up in our food processor. We mixed this in with the 1/4 cup of graham cracker crumbs we had left. The result was a nice, nutty, crust with a very unique flavor that we loved. Ingenius!
After baking a second round of tartelettes, we didn't use all the pie filling, and since we used eggs, heavy cream, and sugar, we figured we could make ice cream out of this too. We added just one cup of whole milk, and let the whole mixture cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes (making sure it did not boil. this step was just to make the custard/cook the eggs). We brought the mixture to room temperature, and then put it in the fridge to chill over night. The next morning, we just put it into our ice cream maker and churned for about 30 minutes. Taste testers said it was delicious.