Pumpkin Pie

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As a child, what I knew about pumpkin and squash was limited to the huge Persian butternut squashes which were huge and misshaped! Every time I saw them at the market, I would ask myself, ‘ who could buy these ugly things and eat them?’

It was not in my mom’s or my grandmas’ menus and I just did not like them! Poor pumpkins; I did not know the true taste of them! Those days past and I came to Canada where pumpkins are a symbol of celebration a long with being part of fantastic North America’s food culture.

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Now, I know that the ones in Iran were heirloom varieties and organic! Since they were not part of ordinary people’s food, they were not produced in conventional agriculture! But, the taste must have been fantastic! I confess that I have missed Persian squashes, an important ingredient for many fall recipes! I will sure take some photos when I am in Iran next time!

Now that my cooking skills are influenced by Canadian culture, I am absolutely in love with foods made with squashes and pumpkin! Among them, I love the popular Pumpkin Pie!

It is made with classic sweet pastry dough, sour cream, and most importantly love. I learned this recipe from an old friend and now have made some changes that is unique to this recipe. I use some semolina flour in preparing my sweet pastry that makes my pie crunchy and prevents the dough from becoming too soft and soggy!

The recipe might seem a little complicated but really it is not complicated at all, if you follow the recipe in sections described. You can even make the dough and the pumpkin sauce a head of time that saves you a ton of time and keeps the stress away!

Hope you like and try this scrumptious dessert!

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The recipe might seem a little complicated but really it is not complicated at all, if you follow the recipe in sections described. You can even make the dough and the pumpkin sauce a head of time that saves you a ton of time and keeps the stress away!
Hope you like and try this scrumptious dessert!

Filling

600 gr butternut squash, cut into cubes

½ cup(80gr) raw brown sugar

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp ginger or 1 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 large egg and 2 egg yolks

1 cup apple juice

1 cup water

2 Tbsp limejuice

½ tsp vanilla extract

200 gr sour cream

Crust

220 gr pastry flour, sifted

50 gr semolina flour

180 gr cold unsalted butter, cubed

1Tbsp sugar

½ tsp salt

1 large egg and1 egg yolks

1 Tbsp cold water

Whipped cream

2/3 cup whipping cream

1/3 cup sour cream or crème fraich

½ tsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp honey or icing sugar

To make the crust

Combine the flour, semolina, sugar and salt in a food processor. Add cold butter cubes and pulse a few times until the mixture looks like chunks of coarse meal.

Then add the egg and egg yolks and a Tablespoon of cold water. Give it a few more pulses until the dough just comes together.

Form the dough into a ball and wrap it in a plastic bag. Refrigerate for at least one hour. The best is leave it overnight!

If you like to make the dough with hand, mix the flour, semolina flour, sugar, salt and butter cubes in a bowl. Using your fingers rub the flour into the butter cubes until you get a rough mixture. Add the egg and egg yolks and cold water. Continue mixing the batter with your fingers and pressing it until it just comes into a ball of dough. Make sure you do not over do it! This dough does not kneading! Chilling and resting the dough allows the dough to develop well and avoids cracking and easier to work with than a dough that lacks refrigeration.

After the dough is chilled, slightly flour the working surface. Break up the dough into 3 pieces and form a disk.

Roll the dough out with a roller, and turn 90 degrees. Roll the dough out into a 30 centimeter (12-inch), that is 5 millimeter (1/-inch) thick.

Grease a 24cm standard pie pan and transfer the dough into the pan.

Carefully pressing the bottom and the sides; just be careful not to stretch it out. Press the edge of the pan to make a thicker edge. Then, trim the excess though with scissors or the roller. Pierce the bottom of the dough with fork and freeze it for at least 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F (180C).

Line the pie crust with aluminum foil and fill with raw rice or beans to the top. Bake for 30 minutes, until edges are golden. Take the pie out of the oven and carefully remove the aluminum foil. Remove the pan and place the crust to the oven rack and bake for 20 more minuets.

To make the pumpkin pie filling

Clean the squash, cut the head and bottom, and peel. Dice the pumpkin. Peel and grind ginger. Place pumpkin cubes, ginger, water, apple juice, lime juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar. Cook on medium low heat for 40 minutes until caramelized. Add vanilla extract at the end and let cool completely.

You can do this step a head of time and refrigerate. This saves you a lot of time!

Blend the squash mixture until smooth. Add the egg, egg yolks. Pulse until completely mixed. Add sour cream and give a few pulses until the mixture is smooth and homogenized.

Return the crust into the pan and Pour the filling into the pie and bake for 30 minutes at 270F (200C).

Let the pie cool completely and then remove from the pan. Refrigerate for 2 hours and serve chilled.

To make the whipping cream

Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Add the honey or icing sugar, and the sour cream. Mix with a spatula in a circular motion until just mixed. You can also make the cream a head and save time!

Cut the pie into pieces and serve with  whipped cream. It is just heavenly delicious! Enjoy

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