Pumpkin Pie, Thanksgiving 2013

Mrs Flannestad sometimes tires of my relentless experimentation in the kitchen.

I seldom make the same dish more than once. I’m always tweaking.

“Can’t we just have the Pumpkin Pie with Bourbon and Pecans that you used to make?”

So, I gave it my best shot, even though I had no pecans (No Pecan Pie? Thank China, Rain, and Pigs, NYTIMES).

The filling is based on 2 Martha Stewart recipes and the crust from the NY Times. Note, the crust recipe makes enough for 2 pies. Save for another occasion or double the filling and topping.

Pumpkin Pie, 2013

Pumpkin Pie, 2013

Pumpkin Pie, Thanksgiving 2013

Crust:

290 grams all-purpose flour (about 2 1/2 cups), more for rolling out dough
35 grams cornmeal (about 1/4 cup)
35 grams sugar (about 3 tablespoons)
2 grams salt (about 1/2 teaspoon)
12 tablespoons butter, unsalted, chilled, and cut into small cubes
1/4 cup Love, I mean LARD, chilled, and cut into small pieces

Filling:
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Half & Half
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Ground Allspice
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1 15 oz Can Pumpkin
2 Tablespoons Bourbon Whiskey

Topping:

1/2 Cup Hazelnuts, crushed
1/2 Cup Sugar
Half & Half

METHOD:

1. Make the crust: blend flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt in a food processor. Add butter and shortening, then pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 4 tablespoons ice water and blend until dough forms a ball, adding more ice water, a half-tablespoon at a time (up to 2 additional tablespoons), if dough is dry. Divide dough in half, flatten into two round disks, wrap in plastic and chill at least 1 hour.

2. Whisk filling ingredients together until well combined.

3. Heat oven to 375 degrees. On a floured surface, roll out one dough round. Transfer rolled-out dough to a 9-inch pie pan and fill with pumpkin mixture. Reserve second dough disk for another use.

4. Place pie in the middle of oven and cook for 35 minutes. Combine hazelnuts and sugar and add half & half to loosen. Spread on top of center of pie and return to oven. Bake for another 20 minutes or until topping if browned and center of pie nearly firm. Cool on a wire rack and serve with whipped cream.

BOTW–Fall Down Brown

Oh, oops. It certainly has been a long time since I did a Beer of the Week post.

Unless you count the Beer & Amaro Posts, it was fall of 2011 the last time I did a BOTW!

So lazy!

Turns out, I’m still drinking beer from Barley and other fermentables, not just beer from Roots.

Ale Industries Fall Down Brown.

Ale Industries Fall Down Brown.

Ale Industries Fall Down Brown

“Fall Down Brown – 8.25% ABV

“Fall Down Brown is our Fall seasonal. It is a brown ale that has been brewed with smoked pumpkin. FDB drinks more like a Rauch Beer than a traditional pumpkin beer. Don’t expect to taste pie with this one!”

We’re pumpkin beer fans here at SavoyStomp, but even we are a little confused exactly what that means.

Is it an Ale brewed with Pumpkin? Is it an Ale flavored with “Pumpkin Pie Spice”? Is it an Ale brewed with Pumpkin & Pumpkin Pie Spice? Examples of all three of these scenarios, (and more!) exist.

Originally, I think it was just an Ale brewed with Pumpkin. Settlers in the Americas desperate for beer/booze, cast about for whatever native plants they could possibly find with sugars and carbohydrates, even minimal amounts, and one of the few they came up with was Pumpkin and other Winter Squash.

Turns out, plain pumpkin doesn’t have a super lot of sugar, nor does it have a lot of flavor or character.

I guess that’s why we pump our pumpkin pies full of spices, ginger, and sugar.

But, when you’re desperate, you’re desperate.

Nowadays, many pumpkin beers don’t even involve pumpkin, are just beers flavored with Pumpkin Pie Spice.

Ale Industries, have taken another tack. They are smoking actual pumpkins and using them in their beer.

As they say above, this doesn’t taste like a glass of Pumpkin Pie, more like an ale brewed with smoked malt, a la the German tradition of RauchBier.

As smoked ales go, this is pretty tasty. But, then, beer from Ale Industries rarely disappoints.

On the other hand, if pumpkin contributes little flavor to a beer, why use it at all?

Well, it is a great label, and an interesting and seasonal, maybe even traditional, take on pumpkin ale.

Sometimes the best answer is, “Why Not?” or, “Because we could.”

I respect that aesthetic.

Great Pumpkin Punch

First, just a reminder that tonight, Sunday, October 31st, 2010, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails on this blog have captured your fancy, stop by after 6 and allow the skilled bartenders (and me) to make them for you. It is always a fun time.

As a special celebration of the evening, I am bringing along the following fall inspired variation on my Bernal Heights Milk Punch.

Great Pumpkin Punch

1 Bottle Weller 12 Year Bourbon.
1 Bottle Landy Cognac.
1/2 Bottle Batavia Arrack.
4 Small-ish Sweet Potatoes, washed and roasted.
4 Oranges, Zested.
4 Lemons, Zested.
4 Cloves.
2 Sticks Cassia Cinnamon.

16 oz Water.
1/2 Pound Piloncillo.
1/4 Pound Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds), crushed.

1 quart Straus Family Creamery Whole Milk.

Method:
Zest citrus and add zest to Brandy, Bourbon, and Arrack. Juice Oranges and 2 Lemons, strain, and add to aforementioned liquid. Slice Roasted Sweet Potatoes and add to aforementioned liquid. Add Cinnamon and Cloves. Allow to infuse for at least 48 hours.

Heat water and add Piloncillo and Pepitas. Simmer below a boil for 10 minutes and refrigerate over night.

Carefully strain peels, Potatoes, and Spices out of Liquid, trying not to crush potatoes. Juice other two lemons and add to Flavored Booze Mixture. Heat milk to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Add to Flavored Booze Mixture. Allow to stand undisturbed for 30 minutes and filter through cheesecloth, removing milk solids. Filter Pumpkin Seeds out of Syrup, pressing to remove as much liquid as possible, and combine with Flavored Booze Mixture. Cool and allow to stand for a couple days. Rack liquid off of any accumulated sediment into clean bottles and chill well before serving. Makes about 3 quarts.

I will note that at this point, even though some solids have dropped out, this Milk Punch hasn’t cleared up as much as other I have made. I think some of the oils from the pumpkin seeds are in suspension, leaving a louche, like when you add water to orgeat (almond syrup).

I was a bit worried that this would be a horrible mistake, and I would have to throw the whole batch away as a failed experiment. Even some early tastes of the infusion left me worried. However, having tasted the final product, all I’ll say is I couldn’t stop laughing. Totally nailed pumpkin pie in punch form.

Additional note:

Interestingly, once I moved this punch to the refrigerator, the solids began to drop out of the liquid much more rapidly. It would appear chilling aids the “milk fining” process to work more effectively, something I hadn’t really been aware of before.