Creamy Pumpkin Pie
Note: This is one of pastry chef Rachel Swan’s favorite offerings at her Minneapolis shop Pie & Mighty. “We don’t make it often,” she said, “but wow, it is just everything you’d want in a pie.” The filling can go in any kind of crust; Swan recommends “a pastry crust of whatever is easy and joyful for the pie maker.”
• 3/4 c. sugar
• 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
• 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
• 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
• 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
• 1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin purée, organic preferred
• 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
• 3 large eggs
• 1 (9-inch) pie shell, par-baked and cooled completely
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a food processor, combine sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Pulse 3 times to mix. Add the cream cheese and pulse until a paste forms. Add the pumpkin purée and butter and process for 30 seconds. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl, then process until the mixture is completely smooth, about 30 seconds longer. Add the eggs and process until completely smooth. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie shell and smooth over the top with a rubber spatula.
Place the pie on a baking sheet in the oven and bake until the filling puffs slightly and the center only moves lightly when jiggled, 30 to 35 minutes, rotating the pie halfway through baking. Let pie cool fully, slowly. Refrigerate after completely cool.
Pâté Sucrée (Sweet Dough Crust)
Makes enough dough for 2 crusts.
Note: “This crust is great for any kind of pie you want to make; not a flaky pie crust but crisp and buttery. And the best part is that it is EASY,” says Alicia Hinze of her recipe from the Buttered Tin in St. Paul. All-purpose flour can be used in place of pastry flour.
• 1 1/2 c. (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature
• 3/4 c. sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1 tsp. vanilla
• 1 tsp. lemon zest
• 4 1/8 c. (18 oz.) pastry flour
In a mixer: Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, until fully mixed in, and vanilla and lemon zest. Sift pastry flour and add half of it to the mixer until almost incorporated, then add the other half. Mix just until it is incorporated. Overmixing will make the dough tough.
Chill the dough at least 2 hours. Roll out and use as a bottom pie crust.