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Monday, 3 October 2016

Five Star Pumpkin Pies

I cannot take full credit for the two recipes in this blog as the original recipes are my Mom's recipes that she has used ever since coming to Canada as a war bride. I have tweaked the recipes slightly but the essence remains the same.  Thank you Eileen Little for these. To go to my original pumpkin pie YouTube video please click here.
Alexandra, Eileen (my Mom) & Cori in the forground
on pie making day


Pastry for Pumpkin Pies

Ingredients :  full recipe  (can be cut in half if it is too much pastry at one time)

1 Lb. vegetable shortening - cold
5 Cups all- purpose Flour
1 Tsp. Baking powder
2 Tsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Brown sugar

3 Tbsp. Vinegar  (white or malt or apple cider - whichever you have in the cupboard at the time will do)
1 Egg 
Cold water (approx. 3/4 cup)

You will need a total of 1 1/4 cups of fluid so here is how we make up the fluid. Add one egg to a 2 cup measure. Beat with a fork. Add vinegar and whisk again. Then add the very cold water  and bring the combined fluid up to 1 1/4 cups.  You may not need all this liquid, but sometimes you do depending on the moisture content of the flour and shortening.

Prep: 
Mix together flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar. Whisk together to remove the lumps.
Add shortening to the flour mixture and cut up shortening into the flour with a pastry cutter (see photo to the right).

Miriam's Time Saving Tip♥ I now realize after making pastry for so many years that the flakiness of your pastry is directly correlated with how well your shortening is cut into the flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter helps with this process. The shortening should disappear into small chunks while keeping the flour powdery.
Prepare liquid and add 90% of the liquid to the flour mixture. Combine the liquid until it is incorporated and the pastry starts to come together into a ball. Do not over mix at this stage or your pastry will be tough. Continue to mix with your clean hands and if it is too dry add the rest of the liquid.
Roll dough up into a disc and wrap in parchment paper and then in a clean plastic bag and store in cooler until needed.

Miriam's Time Saving Tip Making this pastry ahead is a great time saver. It keeps well for over a week in the fridge as long as it is wrapped well. After making pies. Freeze the leftover
pastry for use later.



Pumpkin Filling:
1 can pure pumpkin (796ml or 28 oz.) 
6 eggs
1 ½ cups sugar
2 cups milk
2 tsp. cinnamon
¾ tsp. ginger
¾ tsp. allspice
¾ tsp. nutmeg
½  tsp. salt

Procedure:
Heat milk until hot but not boiled.
In a large bowl or with a stand mixer whisk eggs and sugar until well blended. You can easily do this by hand....a mixer is not necessary.

Add pure pumpkin from the can, spices, and salt. Mix until well combined.
Add hot milk to the pumpkin & spice combination. Stir or whisk until combined.
Pour into unbaked pastry pie shells (recipe above) just up to the fluted edges (don’t
overfill).
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake pie on the middle shelf of the oven for approximately 40 minutes until the filling is baked and set. Usually the filling when set has a slight convex appearance to it.
Serve hot or cold.  Refrigerate unused pie after cooled to preserve the freshness.

Foodsafe Tip: to ensure your leftover pies are safe to eat the next day, always refrigerate pies after dinner. Any harmful bacteria will be minimized by properly cooling and storing of your pies.

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