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To Cook or Not Cook the Pumpkin Filling 1st.......

Funwithfood Nov 23, 2004 11:50 PM

I have never made a pumpkin pie (hard to believe!).

A recipe from Cook's Illustrated (Nov/Dec 1993) has you cook the crust blind, then cook the pumpkin filling in a saucepan, then pour into the crust and bake for 25 mins.

Has anyone done both the plop the pumpkin mixture into the crust (all uncooked) AND the method mentioned above? If so, which made the better pie?

TIA :)

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    Nancy RE: Funwithfood Nov 24, 2004 04:33 AM

    I have never cooked pumpkin pie either. Nevertheless, the recipe I have from Ruth Levy Birmbaum (from one of her "Bibles") says to cook the filling first for a smoother and more mellow pie.

    1. k
      klumppilston RE: Funwithfood Nov 24, 2004 09:30 AM

      Well, I always make the recipe off the Libby's can, and that's what it says to do. I've never had a problem with it. I've never made a pumpkin pie from a real pumpkin, though. That might make a difference.

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        Carb Lover RE: Funwithfood Nov 24, 2004 11:01 AM

        Whenever I make pie, I always blind- or par-bake the crust, which prevents the bottom from getting soggy due to the wet filling. Given that pumpkin has so much water content, I would definitely take the time to incorporate this extra step.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Carb Lover
          Carb Lover RE: Carb Lover Nov 24, 2004 11:07 AM

          OOPS...totally misunderstood your question. About the filling--if using fresh pumpkin, then I would cook over heat first before putting into the crust. This will help to smooth out the filling and reduce water content. When baking, I always adhere to the recipe unless I have a lot of prior experience w/ it.

        2. f
          foodiex2 RE: Funwithfood Nov 24, 2004 01:14 PM

          After years of making the recipes from Cooks Illustrated I have found that when it comes to things I don't usually make (pies, cakes, cookies, etc) it is always better to follow their recipes to the letter. They do so much "testing" that the results are almost always perfect. If you were not an experienced baker I would caution against improvising.

          1. d
            Doreen RE: Funwithfood Nov 24, 2004 02:11 PM

            Just made 2 pies. Didn't blind bake the crust, just poured the filling in and baked. They were 2 of the prettiest pies I've ever made. (course the crust was homemade) Keep it simple.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Doreen
              jennyantepenultimate RE: Doreen Nov 24, 2004 11:14 PM

              I find that placing a baking sheet into the oven before preheating and letting it get really hot will cook the bottom layer of crust good enough to prevent the soggies.

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              Funwithfood RE: Funwithfood Nov 26, 2004 10:38 AM

              I made the CI cooked pumpkin pie with a homemade crust and fresh roasted pumpkin. The other pie was an Epicurious recipe. For the latter I used a can of Libby's and a Marie Callenders crust.

              Everyone agreed the latter was the better pie!!

              Conclusion: I realize pumpkin pie is not my favorite (made for someone who loves pumpkin). Even though I never have pre-made items on my Thanksgiving table, next year I will just buy a good quality pumpkin pie (for the fan).

              I will go back to making unusual bread puddings (like white-chocolate cherry), now that is a Thanksgiving dessert worth the trouble!

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                DS RE: Funwithfood Nov 26, 2004 04:04 PM

                I also made the CI pumpkin pie recipe (from their web site), followed precisely except for adjustments to the spices. Their rationale for precooking the pumpkin was to improve the flavor of the canned stuff and to avoid sogginess. It worked great. My quarrel with the recipe was the abbreviated cooking time (25 minutes). The pie, although silky and delicious, did not firm up as promised. Next time I will cook it longer.

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