Piece of life
Pumpkin pie is a dessert I’ve discovered only recently. It’s very popular in North America, but not at all in France. Therefore, I had never eaten pumpkin pie before arriving in Quebec.
My first attempts were not very conclusive, and I avoided this pie for a long time. It took many attempts by my friends to overcome my reluctance to eat this dessert. The last attempt [this year] finally paid off, and for the first time I finally eating a piece of pumpkin pie.
About that pumpkin pie
Pumpkin pie is an autumn classic and a Thanksgiving essential. There are many recipes and variations, as are most traditional recipes.
Despite my doubts, there’s one recipe that finally changed my mind. This pumpkin pie recipe comes from one of Quebec’s leading chefs… Ricardo, of course. You’ll find several recipes on his website, but my friend always uses THE recipe [ie the one presented as “the best” ].
The composition of this pumpkin pie is very simple: a pie crust, a pumpkin filling and whipped cream.
The pie crust
The pie crust in the original recipe is a fairly classic dough. There is therefore no particular difficulty in its preparation. However, while there’s nothing complex about making it, baking it is not as easy. As the pumpkin mixture is very moist, it can be quite difficult to cook the dough properly.
After several failures, the obvious thing to do was to find an alternative for the dough. So I decided to change the pastry dough for a cheesecake-style speculoos cookie crust. And bingo! Not only does the crust stay firm, but the irresistible taste of speculoos combines perfectly with the flavours of the pumpkin pie.
The pumpkin filling
It couldn’t be easier to make this pumpkin filling: all you have to do is mix all the ingredients together.
The only key element is to use plain pumpkin puree, i.e. with no added sugar.
You can use homemade or store-bought pumpkin purée, but I find store-bought preparations easier to use. Homemade purees are often wetter, and it can be more difficult to achieve optimum results. But if you’re the master of pumpkin puree, then go for it and use your own preparations.
Pumpkin pie is all about spices. I only used cinnamon in the crust, as the speculoos crust already adds a lot of flavor. You can add other spices to suit your taste.
There are also commercially available pumpkin pie spice blends, available at any grocery store.
The whipped cream
Whipped cream is the finishing touch that brings out all the gourmandise. While some people simply add a quenelle of chantilly when serving, personally I prefer to cover the whole pie with it. Of course, you’ll need to wait until the pie is cool before adding the chantilly.
- 20 cm pie mould (ideally with removable bottom)
- Preheat oven to 180℃ (350℉).
Speculoos pie crust
- Thinly crush the speculoos cookies.
- Melt the butter.
- Mix the melted butter with the speculoos crumbs.
- Pour the mixture into the bottom of the pie pan.
- Press the mixture down firmly (using a spoon or the underside of a glass, for example) to form the crust.
- Mix the cornstarch and spices in a bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients (pumpkin purée, eggs and condensed milk) and whisk until smooth.
- Pour the mixture over the speculoos crust.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Allow to cool.
- Place a bowl in the freezer for about 10 minutes (optional, but this will help the whipped cream set faster).
- Pour the cream and sugar into the cold bowl.
- Whip until stiff.
- Set aside in the fridge.
- When the pie is cooled, spread the whipped cream over the top (you can poach it for a more aesthetic look).