Wednesday people across the country will wake up with "Bake pumpkin pie" at the top of their pre-Thanksgiving to do list.
Each year people will ask themselves:
- Canned pumpkin or fresh?
- Store bought crust or from-scratch?
- How to prevent cracking the surface?
- Too much spice or not enough?
- What should we drink with our pumpkin pie?
Let's start with the last question, first. Rowley Leigh writing for the Financial Times, in American Pie, calls Essensia an ideal match. The Orange Muscat is a natural for the rich savory and sweet Thanksgiving classic.
Oh and the answers to the other pumpkin pie questions?
The crust: from-scratch is easy, (here's an easy and reliable one) but if you're stretched for time even a store bought crust can be gussied up. Try crushing gingersnaps and toasted pecans and pressing them into the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pie dough before adding the filling.
Cracks on the surface? That's from over-baking. When a pumpkin pie is done it will be still be jiggly in the middle. The custard needs time to set, which it will do, while cooling.
Spicing is a question of personal taste. One way to ensure that pumpkin pie lovers and skeptics alike will enjoy the pie is to mix the filling ingredients some time ahead, giving them time to meld and mellow. Another way to help the overall balance of the pie and spice is to cook the spices and pumpkin together before combining with other ingredients.
And most important, as Rowley points out, if you want to make the pie from a pumpkin instead of canned pumpkin pulp, you must find a "pie pumpkin". An ordinary Halloween jackolantern will make a bland pumpkin pie.
And just be sure to pour Essensia along with the pie!