Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This Pies For The Grown-Ups: Cayenne Spiced Pumpkin Pie

It may look like your typical pumpkin pie. But it's not. It's better then that.

Because I had this great idea, it was probably sub-consciously inspired by the potatoes, to put some Cayenne pepper in pumpkin pie.

I know, it can sound weird. But think about it – not too much, just a subtle amount of cayenne...with pumpkin...and cinnamon. Well, lots of people didn't believe in the idea, but I knew it would be good.

So I decided I would start with a basic pumpkin pie recipe that included plenty of cinnamon. Take out all the other spices, and just add the cayenne pepper a little at a time until it seemed to taste right.

So I started with:

1 15oz can of pumpkin (because canned is fine)

1 12oz can of evaporated milk

2 large eggs

¾ cup sugar

2 Tbsp flour

1 tsp cinnamon

And here is where I added some cayenne pepper, tasted the mix, added some more...finally settled on ½ tsp cayenne pepper.

I filled up a par-baked pie crust (because pumpkin pie filling is like water so if you don't par-bake the crust it WILL be moist).

I baked this for 15min at 425°, then turned the oven down to 350° and baked for another 30 min. And it was perfect, beautiful, the second time.

I learned an important lesson the first time I made this. People who say they use graham cracker crusts for pumpkin pie are idiots.

It's a liquid! And ground up crackers are not strong enough for liquid!

But the first time I made this I was a little burnt out by the typical crust, because I had been making a lot of them, and I wanted to do something different. So I put my trust in these reports. And it was a mess. Even with pre-baking it was a thick, soggy, cake-y layer sitting below my pumpkin creation.

I couldn't even decide for sure if it was good.

So I made it a second time, using the appropriate crust. And it most certainly IS good, although I will be the first to say this pie will probably not be appreciated by everyone. But those who do appreciate it, they will love you for it.

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