At this time of year I start baking with pumpkin. Admitedly, I normally buy the canned pumpkin puree that’s readily available at the grocery store, but that’s still baking.
So, this year, when I realized October was nearly here, I put some cans of pumpkin in my cart when I was at the grocery store. With visions of pumpkin pie, spiced cupcakes, muffins and new treats yet to be discovered, I headed home.
As I was measuring flour into my mixing bowl I was thinking that pumpkin pie really needs a better crust. Something less white-flour, and more nuts-in-the-crust, or crushed-ginger-cookie-base. What could I do, at that moment, to improve the classic white flour-butter-salt dough?
Add rye flour!
Ok. Rye flour in the mix, rolling the dough into a round on the counter, I realized there was still another way to improve this pumpkin pie: make it taller!
If you want to look at this change as more crust, those of you who love that part of pie, go ahead and enjoy the deep crust! And if you’re after more of the soft, spiced, not-too-sweet filling per slice, then you’re in luck, too!
Here’s the method:
I’m pretty sure these tweaks will work with whatever recipe you’re going to use. I added 1/4 cup rye flour and an extra tablespoon of cold water to my 9″ dough recipe. Roll the dough to a 10″ or slightly larger circle.
In place of a 9″ pie pan, I lined a 8″ cake pan with parchment paper. You’ll need a piece that will fit the bottom and sides of the pan with a 1-2″ overhang; the overhang is how you’ll get the pie out of the cake pan! Crumple the paper while wetting it under the running tap so it softens and can be easily pressed into your pan. Then line the pan with the parchment, carefully transfer the rolled dough, and gently press it into place over the base and up the sides.
With these new, tall sides, you can now pour your entire pie filling (enough for a 9″ pie) into the prepared pan, and bake. I left the edges uneven because I like the sort-of rustic look; I trimmed off some of the more dark spots before serving the pie. You could trim the edges so everything is even before baking.
Because the custard-y filling is now thicker (read taller), the pie may need another five minutes of baking time: check with a wooden skewer or cake tester after the usual time called for in the recipe.
About the granola crumble topping: my youngest son was asking if we could make pumpkin crumble, the way we do an apple crumble, but with pumpkin. I thought about it: he didn’t want pumpkin pieces, like apple pieces, he was looking for pumpkin pie as we know it, but with a crisp, crumbly top. It seemed that adding crumble topping after cooking would be the way to not have it sink in the filling, but then it wouldn’t be cooked. However, (aha!) granola is similar, and I’d just made some. So, granola topping after baking.