Pumpkin Pie

Happy Advent!

During Advent it is so easy to get caught up in the rush of the season and not the hush. That is what I love about the Advent Wreath.  Its progressive lighting symbolizes the anticipation of our Lord’s birth and his second coming to judge the living and the dead.

There are 4 weeks of Advent and with each new candle lit there is a new meaning. The light of the candles signifies Christ, the Light of the world. The 3 purple candles represent prayer, penance (confession, repentance and forgiveness of sins) and preparatory sacrifices (seeing God in all that you do to prepare: in baking, in decorating, in getting the Christmas tree, in putting up lights etc). The rose candle is lit on the third Sunday and represents our rejoicing because we have arrived at the midpoint of Advent.

At Mass last night after the first candle was lit our priest talked about God being in our lives at all times.  God has made it very clear to me that he is in my life but I still worry and stress about some situations. At the end of each day I am trying to write down all the Godincidents of the day.  I can reread them as a reminder whenever I begin to try to manage a problem on on my own.  What are you doing this Advent?

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel – Isaiah 7:14

Pumpkin Pie
I love pumpkin pie!

Cooks Illustrated No Fail Pie Crust

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup vodka, cold
1/4 cup cold water 
Makes 2 pie crusts. Only 1 is needed for the pie. Freeze the other or use it for another pie:)

1. Process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogenous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.

2. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.

3. Roll out enough to hang over about 1 inch and carefully place crust in 9-inch pie pan. Gently fold over the excess and then crimp using your thumb and thumb and fore finger on other hand. Chill crust for about 30 minutes.

4. Blind bake the chilled crust for about 30-40 minutes until brown.

5. Remove from oven and brush with egg white. This will prevent a soggy crust once pie is finished.

6. Cool crust completely and then fill with pie filling and bake low and slow in a 325F oven for about 50-60 minutes. Let cool completely, serve and refrigerate leftovers. You can also make pie a day ahead but I like my first slice to be room temperature and then leftovers chilled:)

7. Serve with fresh sweetened whipped cream

Karen’s Filling

2 eggs
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
15 ounce can of pureed pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
Pinch of salt
1 t corn starch
1 t vanilla extract
1 12 ounce can of evaporated milk
Nutmeg, a few grates
1/2 recipe piecrust (see above)

pecan halves (garnish)

Serves 10-12

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