White Pumpkin Pie

When I bought this perfect white pumpkin with this lovely long stem, I had big dreams to carve it into a jack-o-lantern. But somehow, whenever I start to carve pumpkins, I lose interest, along with all desire to be creative. It’s sticky, the knives are difficult to wield, and I can never make them as beautiful as what I see in a Martha Stewart magazine. After this one had narrowly escaped the carving knife, and was sitting on my counter for a couple of weeks, I decided it was time to do something with it. It seemed like a good idea to make it into a pie. Though the pumpkin puree itself was light—it looked exactly like applesauce—the color of the pie did not turn out as white as I had envisioned, once baked. It did look paler than a traditional pumpkin pie, though. And, since the white pumpkin is milder in flavor, I used slightly different spices than usual, and used cream as opposed to evaporated milk to make this pie a little more sophisticated.

Pumpkin Pie Recipe

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
pinch of salt
2 cups white pumpkin puree (take a white pumpkin, and follow these instructions for roasting)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup (If you don’t have real maple syrup, just substitute with 1/4 cup more sugar)
3 eggs
1/2 cup cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pre-baked pie crust (recipe follows)
whipped cream (recipe follows)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, spices, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, maple syrup, eggs, cream, and vanilla. Whisk together the two mixtures. Pour into a baked pie crust. Cover the edges of the crust with strips of aluminum foil. Bake for 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 350 degrees, and bake for 45-65 minutes more, until the center no longer jiggles.

2. Turn off the heat to the oven, and allow the pie to stay in the cooling oven. When the oven is no longer hot, remove the pie, and let come to room temperature. Refrigerate for 4 hours before serving. Top with whipped cream.
one-crust pie crust
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold butter, cut in pieces
2-3 tablespoons ice cold water (all ice removed)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Add in butter, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Distribute the water over the mixture and pulse until the water is well-distributed and the mixture holds together like dry clay. Dump mixture onto a floured board, knead a time or two, form into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

2. On a lightly floured board, pound dough with a rolling pin a few times to soften the butter. Turning the dough frequently to prevent sticking, roll into an 11 inch circle. Place the dough in a 9 inch pie plate. Roll up the edges and crimp with your fingers. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork a few times. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Place a large circle of parchment paper in the center of the chilled crust, and fill with a pound of dried beans (you can reuse them for this purpose again and again). Bake for 15 minutes with the beans in. Remove from the oven, take out the beans and parchment paper, and bake again for about 10 minutes more, or until the center just begins to turn golden brown.

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