Spiced Pumpkin Pie
Most pumpkin pies rely entirely on ground spices for their heady flavor. In this one, whole spices (star anise, clove, cinnamon and black peppercorns) are infused into cream, which gives it a more interesting, nuanced character, while a hit of ground ginger added at the end makes it particularly intense. You can make the filling and par-bake the crust the day before, but this pie is best assembled and baked on the day you plan to serve it. If you can, use a high-fat, European-style butter for the crust. It really makes a difference.
- Serves: 8 persons
- 1 ¼cups/160 grams all-purpose flour
- ¼teaspoon fine sea salt
- 10tablespoons/140 grams unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 2to 4 tablespoons ice water, as needed
- 1cup heavy cream
- 1cinnamon stick
- 2petals from a star-anise pod (not the whole pod)
- 1whole clove
- 1tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1teaspoon cardamom pods
- ½teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 ¾cups pumpkin or butternut squash purée (homemade or from a 15-ounce can)
- ¾cup/165 grams dark brown sugar
- 2large eggs
- 2large egg yolks
- 2tablespoons dark rum
- 2teaspoons ground ginger
- ½teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Step 1Make the crust: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Using your fingers, rub in the butter until it is the size of peas. Drizzle in water until the dough comes together when squeezed.
Step 2Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface. Working a palm-size chunk at a time, use the heel of your hand to smear the dough across the work surface. Continue until all the dough has been smeared, then gather it all together, flatten into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.
Step 3On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate; fold the edges over and crimp. Prick crust all over with a fork and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Step 4Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line chilled crust with foil and pie weights, then bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake until pale golden, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Transfer to a rack to cool. Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees.
Step 5Make the filling: In a medium pot, combine the cream, cinnamon stick, star anise petals, clove, fresh ginger, cardamom and peppercorns, and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 1 hour. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl.
Step 6Whisk in pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, yolks, rum, ground ginger, salt and nutmeg. Pour into par-baked shell, transfer to a baking sheet, and bake until crust is golden and center is slightly jiggly, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool completely before serving.