Pumpkin Pie - Post Thanksgiving {expat pro con list}


I’m not like other bloggers.

Other bloggers were going on about Thanksgiving since the first of November, I’m mentioning it today the last day of November - a time when other bloggers are shouting about Christmas.

I live in the now, not in the future. Which means that when I get around to blogging it’s the past. I suppose next year I will have this post to share early….just thinking out loud.

Celebrating Thanksgiving as an expat is an experience in itself. I’ve made a Pro/Con list to try to explain.


Pro and Cons of Thanksgiving as an ExPat: 

Pros: 


  • You can buy a turkey on the day, because no one else needs one. 
  • Pumpkin Pie 
  • If you get tonsillitis and need to cancel Thanksgiving no one really misses out but you.
  • Having those friends try Pumpkin Pie!
  • No pressure
  • Inviting friends to celebrate with you.


Cons: 


  • Having to give history lessons to friends and family about what Thanksgiving is. 
  • Having to have it on the following Saturday because the Thursday isn’t a day off. 
  • Having to source a pumpkin or pumpkin puree (Waitrose stocks Libby’s Pumpkin Puree) 
  • Not having my family around. 
  • The lack of Thanksgiving decorations.



I went from not celebrating it at all because as a 22 year old I didn’t cook. Then I tried having it Thursday after my husband got in from work, but that was a stress and way too much to eat at 6 or 7 o’clock in the evening. Then I moved it to Saturday, which worked until one year I got tonsillitis and had to cancel because no one else was around to take up the cooking it was all me or nothing. It seems more hassle then not these last few years, but it’s something I want my girls to see as a holiday even if the rest of the country doesn’t.

One day I hope they love Pumpkin Pie as much as I do. I remember my first taste of pumpkin pie was after we moved to Terre Haute, Indiana and had Thanksgiving with one of my dad’s co-workers who invited us to his house. It was a big affair with loads of people. My fifth grade teacher was there and it was super weird seeing him there.

Food has always been used to celebrate and I hope to pass this recipe down to my girls one day. It’s not an original or anything I got it from Joanne Chang of Flour bakery in Boston, Massachusetts, but it’s super good and all recipes come from somewhere!



Pumpkin Pie 

Short Crust Pastry Pie Crust

140g plain flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
128g unsalted butter, cut into 8/9 cubes
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons cold milk

Mix the flour, sugar, and salt together. In a freestanding mixer or with a handheld mixer mix in the 8-9 cubes of butter. You want the cubes fairly big because you don’t want them completely incorporated into the flour mixture. You want lumps of butter in the dough.
Gently beat the egg yolk and milk together and add it to the flour mixture. Beat on low until the dough just comes together, it will not be a smooth dough … yet.
Dump out onto a lightly floured surface and bring the dough together as best you can into a ball. Then smear the lumps of butter into the dough by using the palm of your hand and pushing the ball down and away from you. Turn the dough ball and repeat for 4 turns or so or until the butter is stretched through out. Bring it back together into a round disk, wrap with clingfilm and place in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours. I always make this the night before I want my pie.

Pie Filling

454g (1 can) pumpkin puree
150g light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
200g condensed milk
170g evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
180g double cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Remove the shortcrust pastry from the fridge and roll it out between to sheets of cling film or on a lightly dusted work top, to about 1/8 inch (.32 cm) thick and about 12 inches (30 cm). Line a pie tin/pan/plate trim or crimp the over hang. Don’t trim it too much as there will be shrinkage in the oven. Leave to chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
While you wait heat the oven to 180C or 350F.
Line the pastry with greaseproof baking paper and fill with baking beads or your choice of dried grains and blind bake for 35-45 minutes.

While it’s baking make the filling by mixing the pumpkin puree and brown sugar in a meduim sauce pan over a medium heat, stirring until it’s a thick paste 35-40 minutes or so. It will have reduced almost by half and be a lot darker. 
Whisk in the spices: ginger, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Then whisk in the condensed and evaporated milk.
Beat the eggs and egg yolk with the cream until combined before gradually whisking it into the pumpkin mixture.

Remove the baking paper and baking beads from the baked crust and add the pie filling. Place in the already heated oven for 45-50 minutes until the pumpkin filling is set, it will puff up a little, but the middle should still have a little wobble. Leave to cool for 2 hours before serving.
When it’s ready to be served top with whipped cream or make it al a mode with a scoop of ice cream. I used a cinnamon biscuit ice cream that suited the pumpkin pie perfectly!

notes: as mentioned above this recipe is adapted from Flour by Joanne Chang, another version of this recipe can be found here. I reviewed both flour and flour too here on the blog. My cousin reviewed it as well and went for a book signing back in the day she wrote about her experience here!
I am entering this into my own blogging challenge The Pastry Challenge! with my friend and fellow blogger Jen!

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