On Christmas, we made this creme bruleed pumpkin pie. What started out as a plan for the perfect dessert turned into a series of experiments, and a discovery that it is in fact worth buying real pie weights. (Spoiler, we now own real pie weights. Sean is thrilled to bake all the pies.)
First, I think the internet version of this recipe is simpler to read than the printed version in the magazine, which is what we were going off of. I put Sean in charge of the pie, since he's a better baker than I am. He's better at the precision stuff, I'm good at the cooking that involves a bit of this and a bit of that. So I was in charge of the rest of our menu (duck, cranberry jelly, stuffing, carrots) and Sean did dessert. Well, because of the way the magazine split the crust and the pie filling onto different pages, the timing for getting the pie started was off. Right from the beginning we knew we wouldn't actually be eating pie for dessert that night.
The pie crust. No pictures exist of it. It was delicious. But it didn't really stay...pie-shaped during the blind bake. We tried dried beans on the parchment paper, which is supposed to be an acceptable substitute for pie weights. It was not enough. It slumped, it rose, it was a weird misshapen mess in a pie dish. But it was a really tasty misshapen mess, and we did enjoy eating it. I just would have liked to eat it with the filling.
The filling. It was phenomenal. Just the right amount of pumpkin, the right amount of cream. Not too rich, not too many spices. Really good!
What we ended up doing (since we couldn't put the filling in the crust that we made) was picking up a store-bought refrigerated crust. They're not the best, but we knew it would let us eat our pie. A side effect is that the store-bought crust was not quite big enough for all of the filling. Which leads us to...
...mini pumpkin creme brulees! The extra filling just filled our four mini ramekins.
Sean is very excited about his new culinary torch that we had to pick up for this recipe:
So, while the pie wasn't a technical success for Christmas dinner, every aspect of it was delicious enough that we will absolutely be trying it again. I think with some more practice, and the proper pie weights, we can make this a true success. We grew some awesome sugar pie pumpkins this year, so I plan to grow more next summer, which means more pumpkin pie, right?