Recipe By : Cooks Illustrated Nov/Dec 1993 p. 22
Serving Size : 8 Preparation Time :1:00
Categories : Desserts Favorites
Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
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FLAKY PASTRY SHELL
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
10 tablespoons unsalted butter -- 1/4" pats
3 tablespoons ice water -- or 3 1/2
SPICY PUMPKIN FILLING
2 cups pumpkin -- puree plain
1 cup dark brown sugar -- packed
2 teaspoons ginger -- ground
2 teaspoons cinnamon -- ground
1 teaspoon fresh nutmeg -- grated
1/4 teaspoon clove -- ground
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup milk
4 each egg -- large
BRANDIED WHIPPED CREAM
1 1/3 cups heavy cream -- cold
3 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
1 tablespoon brandy
1. Mix flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor fitted with steel blade. Scatter butter over dry ingredients; process until mixture resembles cornmeal, 7 to 12 seconds. Turn mixture into a medium-sized bowl.
2. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of water over flour mixture. With blade side of a rubber spatula, cut mixture into little balls. Then press down on mixture with broad side of spatula so balls stick together in large clumps. If dough resists gathering, sprinkle remaining water over dry, crumbly patches and press a few more times. Form dough into a ball with your hands; wrap in plastic, then flatten into a 4-inch disk. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (Can be refreigerated for 2 days or, if sealed airtight in a plastic bag, frozen for up to 6 months.)
3. Generously sprinkle a 2-foot square work area with flour. Remove dough from wrapping and place disk in center; dust top with flour. (If it has been chilled for more than 1 hour, let dough stand until it gives slightly when pressed, 5 to 10 minutes.) Roll dough in all dirextions, from center to edges rotating a quarter turn and strewing flour underneath as necessary after each strike. Flip disk over when it is 9 inches in diameter and continue to roll (but don't rotate) in all directions, until it is 13 to 14 inches in diameter and just under 1/8" thick.
4. Fold dough in quarters and place the corner in the center of a Pyrex pie pan measuring 9 to 9 1/2" across top. Carefully unfold dough to cover pan completely, with excess dough draped over pan lip. With one hand, pick up edges of dough; use index finger of other hand to press dough around pan bottom. Use your fingertips to press dough against pan walls. Trim dough overhanging the pan to an even 1/2" all around.
5. Tuck overhanging dough back under itself so folded edge is flush with edge of pan lip. Press double layer of dough with your fingers to seal, then bend up at a 90degree angle and flute by pressing thumb and index finger (or knuckle) of other hand to poke a dent through the space. Repeat procedure all the way around.
6. Refrigerate for 20 minutes (or freeze for 5 minutes) to firm dough shell. Using a table fork, prick bottom and sides - including where they meet - at 1/2" intervals. Flatten a 12" square of aluminum foil inside shell, pressing it flush against corners, sides and over rim. Prick foil bottom in about a dozen places with a fork. Chill shell for at least 30 minutes (preferably an hour or more), to allow dough to relax.
7. Adjust oven rack to lowest position, and heat oven to 400F. (Start preparing filling when you put shell into oven.) Bake 15 minutes, pressing down on foil with mitt-protected hand to flatten any puffs. Remove foil and bake shell for 8 to 10 minutes longer, or until interior just begins to color.
8. Process first 7 ingredients in a food processor fitted with steel blade for 1 minute. Transfer pumbkin mixture to a 3-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan; bring it to a sputtering simmer over medium-high heat. Cook pumpkin, stirring constantly, until thick and shiny, about 5 minutes. As soon as pie shell comes out of oven, whisk heavy cream and milk into pumpkin and bring to a bare simmer. Process eggs in food processor until whites and yolks are mixed, about 5 seconds. With motor running, slowly pour about half of hot pumpkin mixture through feed tube. Stop machine and scrape in remaining pumpkin. Process 30 seconds longer.
9. Immediately pour warm filling into hot pie shell. (Ladel any excess filling into pie after it has baked for 5 minutes or so - by this time filling will have settled.) Bake until filling is puffed, dry-looking, and lightly cracked around edges, and center wiggles like gelatin when pie is gently shaken, about 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour.
10. Beat cream at medium speed to soft peaks; gradually add confectioners' sugar then brandy. Beat to stiff peaks. Accompany each wedge of pie with a dollop of whipped cream.