I know Thanksgiving passed, but I heard a Christmas song today that referenced pumpkin pie.
"When they pass around the coffee and the puuuummmppkin pie."
So this pie is still relevant. The "intense" part of the name is a reflection of how I like to live life - intensely. Running the Big Chill (5K) in the freezing cold at 9am on a Saturday? Intense. Breaking down 50 boxes and getting a major paper cut on my wrist at work? Intense. Brushing my teeth this morning? Intense.
Whether you agree with me on the above is irrelevant - just know that making this pie is not a simple process. It is totally different from the pumpkin pie recipe I posted 2 years ago. [Wow has it been two years?!] This one involves a cooked filling, ginger, candied yams, and heavy cream. Sounds pretty good to me so far ..
I made this for a Thanksgiving potluck. The recipe on the back of the Libby's can has become such a turn-off to me - I know, I know, oldie but goodie. But that's the problem, I know it's a solid recipe. I wanted variety, so I found this more complicated recipe. As always, the extra steps and most likely extraneous effort required for (aka - intensity of) this pie definitely appealed to me.
What were my thoughts? I thought it seemed promising, especially with the addition of canned candied yams, which I have never had before, but are delicious. I have made sweet potato pie with fresh yams that turned out well, so I knew it had to be good. However, when the pie was all finished, I wasn't as impressed as I expected to be.
I think this is due to a few reasons, and now that I've identified them, you guys can take heed from my trial run!
1. I divided the filling into two thin pies. Not good. Keep the pie thick, and it will taste better! Use a deep-dish pie pan, to ensure the filling will fit. Also, use only one pie crust.
2. Strain the filling. I did not do as the recipe asked (because I don't mind texture), but the pieces of ginger were just too prominent. And somehow in every. single. bite. OR just use ground ginger.
3. If using a refrigerated pie crust, pre-bake the crust, as the recipe states. Don't listen to the box the crust comes in, that says it is okay to just use raw dough for the pie. Not okay. The box lies. (Look to my Notes, in the recipe, for more info on what I did.)
That's all. Overall, this pie is definitely very pumpkin-y. The yams enhance the flavor. It is a vibrant orange, and looks gorgeous, especially if you can flute the edges properly. If you can't, recruit someone who does, like a mom! With the tips above, you should be golden! (And so should the crust ..)
Intense Pumpkin Pie
from here. Notes - first, look at my numbered tips above before starting. Second, I made two pies. For one, I used a homemade pie crust and pre-baked it - success. For the other, I used a refrigerated raw pie crust that claimed to not have to be prebaked - result? raw dough. Lesson? Pre-bake all crusts before adding & cooking the filling.
- half recipe of homemade pie crust (I used this one) or one refrigerated pie crust
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk (fattier, the better)
- 3 large eggs + 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
- 1 cup drained canned candied yams (regular canned yams can be substituted)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (can sub brown sugar if necessary)
- 2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger (or 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Prepare crust first: Roll out dough (if using homemade) to make a 12" circle, about 1/8" thick. Line dough onto pie plate (can roll dough around a large rolling pan, or roll out on saran wrap, so easier to transfer). Flute the edges. Refrigerate about 15 minutes.
- Remove pan from fridge. Line with foil and pie weights (or dry beans). Bake 15 minutes.
- Remove foil and weights carefully. Bake another 5-10 minutes, until crust is golden.
- Make filling: While pie is baking, whisk cream, milk, eggs, yolks, and vanilla in a bowl. Set aside.
- Combine pumpkin puree, yams, sugar, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large pot. Bring to a simmer, about 5-7 minutes.
- Continue simmering, about 10 - 15 minutes, while mashing the yams as much as possible. Mixture should look thick and shiny at the end.
- Remove pot from heat. Whisk in all of the cream mixture slowly, taking care to whisk constantly to prevent scrambling the eggs.
- Strain mixture through fine-mesh strainer. Using the back of a wooden spoon helps. Re-whisk trained mixture, and pour into warm pie crust.
- Return pie to oven. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 degrees F. Continue baking until edges are set, about 20 - 35 minutes.
- Cool to room temperature, at least 2-3 hours. Refrigerate leftovers.