“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”
Fall is my favourite of all the seasons, though sadly it seems the shortest. The leaves change colour so quickly, almost overnight, and once they fall the landscape turns instantly barren and stark. And you know you’re in for 5 months of cold and indoors.
Lately I’ve been feeling guilty for not being outside enough. As if I have only a week to get outside or the sun will forever disappear on me. Autumn is beautiful but it does seem to have a sense of chase. Like you’re chasing after something that’s about to disappear on you. Like you’re chasing after those brightly coloured leaves as they turn into empty branches, grey skies, and gritty mud soaked sidewalks. On the bright side- the onset of winter does invite things such as tea, oversized blankets, and… PIE. We all know of my affection for pie by now, as my last several posts have an oddly similar vein running through.
It’s October. Better get used to it.
Here’s another pie recipe for the book, and not the last you’ll be seeing from me. Get your pie forks ready… It’s gonna be a long, cold winter!
Pate Sucree (Sugar/Tart Dough):
yields 1 eight to ten inch tart depending on your thickness preference.
1+1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup room temperature butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
-Set oven to 375 F.
-With a spatula, beat together the sugar and butter until you get a smooth paste with no small lumps of butter. Completely smooth. Add the egg and mix again until fully incorporated.
-Stir your salt into the flour, and add to the butter mixture, pressing and mixing with your spatula until you have a smooth sticky dough.
-With a batch this small you might need to turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and give it a few seconds work with your hands to ensure the ingredients are all mixed smoothly and evenly.
-As soon as the dough has no lumps of ingredients and is fully mixed, roll it out into a round flat disk about 6 inches wide, and place in the fridge for 15-20 mins to chill a bit.
-Remove from the fridge, roll out to just larger than your tart pan. I always place the tart pan on top of the rolled out dough before removing it from your countertop, just in case it’s too small.
-To easily pick up and transfer your tart dough: place your rolling pin at one end, lift the edge of the dough and drape it over the pin, and then roll the pin along the disk of dough to roll it up over it. Transfer to tart pan, and unroll over it gently.
(example of dough transfer on rolling pin: I stole this photo. Credit: http://howtocook.casaveneracion.com)
-Press the dough into the bottom of your tart pan (lined with a piece of parchment paper in the bottom for easy tart removal) and press around the edges, cutting off excess scraps and discarding.
-Blindbake/Prebake with beans, lentils, or whatever you have laying around the house and haven’t used in months! This weight stops the center of the dough from rising during the initial baking period.
(example of bling baking with beans: I stole this photo too! Credit: http://3.bp.blogspot.com)
-Bake until the edge of the tart shell begins to show some colour and bottom is no longer completely raw. Tart will not be fully cooked at this point, as you will still need to bake the filling.
The Pumpkin Filling:
2 cups pumpkin puree, all natural
1/4 cup granulated sugar or brown sugar
1 cup milk or heavy cream (I used milk)
2 TB fresh grated ginger
1 TB cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
-Whisk all ingredients together with a whisk, or a blender if you choose.
-Pour into your pre-baked tart shell filling it all the way to the top, smooth it out with a metal spatula or even a hot butter knife, so that the top is nice and even.
-Bake until the filling starts to puff around the edges and stops looking ‘wet’. You will know that it’s done by shaking the tart and seeing that the filling has ‘set up’. It won’t gush back and forth, it will be more like the wobble of tight jello.
-Be sure to rotate the tart a time or two during the baking process so that it bakes evenly on all sides.
-This goes for the blind-baking stage and baking the filling. And… basically all other things you’ll be baking provided you have an old stove like mine- and not a fancy convection-style thing. If I had one of those…. let me tell ya! You’d see some fancier things on this blog. I can’t even get my front burner working on the stove top! I’m lucky I’m getting decent pies out of this thing at all!
-Rest the tart for about 30 mins at room temperature, and then place in the fridge for an hour or two for the easiest slicing. When it’s warm and sticky it’s hard to get nice cut slices of pie. Also placing it in the fridge will soften the tart dough enough that you can slice it cleanly without it crumbling everywhere.
Eh Voila! As usual. Breakfast for the week.
Now I’m off to work to try not to eat too many desserts in the kitchen tonight, as I’ve clearly had enough sweets for the day.
A sneak peek at next week’s possible project: Tarte Aux Pommes.
Ciao for now! ~