Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesdays with Dorie: Pie for Breakfast

Pie for breakfast is a solid New England tradition. It's hearty, easy to eat, sweet without being cloying, and full of fruit (or squash, in this case). A small side benefit is that it makes me feel pleasingly rustic. A large side benefit is eating pie for breakfast.
My pie of choice for this activity, which I would classify less as a habit than a response to pie being in the house at all, was Dorie Greenspan's Caramel Pumpkin Pie. A classic pie in most ways -- milk, sugar, eggs...the main twist here was that half the sugar is caramelized prior to being added to the other fillings, making a darker and more complex pie. I have a vague memory of making this pie a few years ago, and not being overly impressed, but this particular version was one of the best pumpkin pies I've ever made. I kept the caramel a little on the light side, and used mashed squash from a mix of squashes that I happened to have recently roasted.
The crust was also standout, and here is where the confession comes in--I fear that I may owe its awesomeness to the addition of a nasty margarine/baking goop/can't believe anyone would think this is butter product, which I used quite a bit of. As normally a fan of the all butter crust, I do have to say that the few crusts I made recently using said product were memorable. Also, because the pumpkin pie crust spends quite a bit of time in the oven at a gentle heat waiting for the custard to firm up, it gets baked to a crispness that fruit double-crusted pies rarely achieve. I remember Emily of Four and Twenty Blackbirds describing a similar phenomenon in the creation of the deeply caramelized crust of her Salty Honey Pie, and she was right. Mine didn't make it to quite such long-cooked glory, but it was one of my better crusts for sure.

Although I did eat several slices of this pie for successive breakfasts, I didn't eat it all--I took the last few slices to the ladies of Polybe + Seats, who seemed pleased that I'd made such a sacrifice. One eater was in fact heard to remark, "But this is better than pumpkin pie!"

It was pretty great. Not better than pumpkin pie, because what could be? But a pretty great pumpkin pie. I hope to make many more. Next week's TWD continues the pie love with the all-American classic apple.

8 comments:

Jacque said...

I went a little lighter on the caramel too... it's too easy to burn the stuff. Your pie looks wonderful and congrats on the successful crust.

Tia said...

your color and everything looks perfect.

Vicki said...

Pie is the perfect way to start the day! This recipe sounds so good.

Jessica of My Baking Heart said...

A slice of this was today's breakfast for me, too! :) Great minds...

cindy said...

What a great way to start your day! This was a good pie, I used Dories crust with butter and Crisco. It was wonderful! Enjoy your day.

Jessica said...

This is definitely a breakfast pie! Pumpkin is a veggie after all... so it's even healthy!

evil cake lady said...

pie for breakfast sounds almost as good as cake for breakfast! yum.

The Mortensens said...

Smart move going for the lighter caramel! I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for baking along with me this week!