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Nov 20, 2012 02:36 PM

Pie Filleing Help!

Alright, here's the deal...

I'm a savory cook- anything past fresh pasta or whipping egg whites is a whole other world to me. That being said, I decided to go for it and make pumpkin pie this year. I roasted my pumpkins, scooped the pulp, and ran it through a food mill. The result is an incrediably smooth puree, but it's slightly starchy and there's a fair amount of liquid.

In the savory world, I'd let it hang out over moderate heat, constantly stirring, to tighten it up and help some of that starch to turn into sugar (a great way to make fresh corn polenta, if anyone was wondering), but I don't want my pie to be dense or dry. On the other hand, I don't want it to be runny.


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  1. One thought... dump off the excess water.

    Another...I can't find it but somewhere on Chowhound is a thread that talks about cooking the filling a bit before pouring it in the pie shell, resulting in a smooth better tasting pie. I'll keep hunting for that thread.

    3 Replies
    1. re: TrishUntrapped

      Jehane Benoit said this is how her mother made it: "The only difference between my mother's pumpkin pie and any pumpkin pie is the browning and drying of the pumpkin before mixing with other ingredients; but believe me, it makes all the difference between an everyday pie and superb dessert." She calls for putting 2 c of pumpkin puree in a buttered cast iron frying pan, cooking over medium heat, stirring nearly continuously so that all parts dry and it is reduced to 1-1/2 cups. At this point it is slightly browned and has enhanced sweetness, according to "Madame Benoit Cooks At Home."

      More recently, I saw that Cooks' Illustrated seems to have "discovered" this idea and promotes drying out / cooking the canned puree in this way.

      1. re: willownt

        I forgot to mention that hers is a 2 pie recipe. You essentially replace the cooked out pumpkin liquids with more milk. She uses 3 c total of milk+cream to 1-1/2 c pumpkin puree for 2 pies. This seems to be less pumpkin than the usual pie.

      2. re: TrishUntrapped

        I think that was a tip from Cook's Illustrated if I remember correctly.

        1. Or line a mesh strainer with cheesecloth and let the water drain out.