I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels like the whole pumpkin spice craze has gotten a bit out of hand. I mean, I get it–it’s fall and pumpkins and spices are some of the fall-y-est things around. But do I really need pumpkin spice flavored protein powder? And does my dog really need pumpkin spice scented shampoo? I think not.
But, there’s one classic pumpkin spice-y item that will always be fall appropriate and never lose its lustre in my book. And that’s pumpkin pie. I won’t go so far as to say it’s my favorite pie, but it’s definitely up there in my top ten. So, here’s the latest experiment in my quest to achieve pumpkin pie perfection.
As the title suggests, this recipe is something of a work in progress. This is the first time I’ve tried it with rum, and although it turned out pretty well overall, it was a touch too sweet for my tastes, and the rum flavor didn’t come through as strongly as I would have liked. I think next time around I’d leave the sugar out of the crust completely and cut the sugar in the filling by about half. I might also experiment with reducing the rum down a bit to get a more concentrated flavor, or possibly trying using rum extract.
But those are edits for another day. For now, here’s take #1 of my drunken pumpkin pie:
For the Crust:
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 sticks cold butter, cubed (plus more for the pie dish)
- 3 tbsp ice water
- 2 tbsp dark rum, chilled
For the Filling:
- 1 150z can pumpkin puree (or approx. 2 cups of homemade pumpkin puree, if you want to get fancy with it)
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp clove
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp allspice
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup dark rum
For the Whipped Cream:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar
- 2-3 tbsp dark rum
For the Crust:
- Butter a 9-inch pie dish and set aside.
- There are several ways to go about making the dough for your pie crust, depending on what kitchen tools you have on hand. The easiest way to is to pulse the dry ingredients together with the cubed butter in a food processor until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs, then add the ice water and rum and pulse until a dough forms. But, if like me you have yet to invest in a food processor (*cough* Christmas list anyone *cough*), you can also accomplish this step by using either a pastry cutter or your bare hands to incorporate the cubed butter into the dry ingredients. Frankly, I have always found pastry cutters to be pretty useless–maybe I just don’t have the right technique, but I find it much easier just to rub in the butter by hand.
- Whatever your preferred butter incorporation method, once you’ve made the dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a ball. Divide the ball in half, flatten each half into a disc shape, wrap them in cling wrap, and pop them in the fridge (for approx. 30 minutes) or freezer (for approx. 10 minutes) to chill. You’ll only need one disk for the crust of this pie, but you can freeze the other disk to save for another time or use it to make decorative elements (e.g., a braided crust around the edge of the pie, little fall-themed crust cut-outs, etc.). Or, if you don’t want all that extra dough hanging around, just half the recipe.
- While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Once the crust has chilled sufficiently, take it out and roll it out onto a well-floured surface (I find that this is key to getting the rolled out dough off said surface for placement in the pie dish post-rolling). Ideally, you want to roll it out into a circle big enough to fully cover the pie dish without being so thin that it rips when you try to transfer it. The easiest way to transfer the rolled out dough is to roll it up around your rolling pin, then unroll it over the buttered pie dish.
- Gently press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the dish and crimp the edges, then stab the dough all over with a fork (this helps to keep it from forming weird air pockets during baking).
- Lay a sheet of parchment over the dough and fill with pie weights or dried beans and blind bake the crust for about 10 minutes.
For the Pie:
- While the crust is in the oven, make the pie filling. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, sugars, and eggs until well-combined. Mix in the salt and spices, then add the heavy cream and rum and whisk until combined.
- Once the crust is done blind baking, remove the parchment and pie weights/beans and pour the filling into the warm crust. Pop the whole thing back in the over for about an hour, until the sides are firm and the middle has only a slight wobble. Baking time may vary depending on whether your oven runs cool, hot, or true to temperature, so definitely check on the pie periodically to see how it’s coming along. I also recommend covering the the edges with foil about halfway through to prevent them from getting too brown.
- When the pie is set, take it out of the oven and set on a wire baking rack to cool completely.
For the Whipped Cream:
- While the pie is cooling, make the whipped cream. If you have a stand mixer, pour the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and 2 tbsp of rum into the bowl of the mixer and beat on medium-high speed using the whisk attachment until soft peaks begin to form. Pause the beating and do a little taste test to see if you want to add a bit more rum to punch up the flavor, then resume beating until stiff peaks form.
- If you’re not using it immediately, store the whipped cream in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to serve the pie. In theory, the whipped cream will keep in the fridge for a few days (you know, assuming you manage not to finish it off within the first 24 hours).