Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Life is short...

Pumkin Pie
Originally uploaded by foodchronicles.

Eat dessert first! I was thinking about the big meal at the end of the month. As you know from a previous post, I've already baked a trial turkey. Now I must do trial desserts!

Pumpkin pie is one of my signature dishes. I began as a wee child back in the 70s learning to bake these wonderful pies. There is a specific order in which the ingredients are added to the bowl. It's almost like being the anal retentive baker I guess. First the eggs go in the bowl. Then you add sugar and mix in well. Then you can add your vanilla. A teaspoon for each pie you're making. Mmmmm. Now you add the pumpkin. Then begin adding your spices one at a time, mixing it in completely, before adding the next. I have developed my own spice blend. It of course has all the typical pumpkin pie spices. Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, Cloves. But I have altered the amounts of each. I experiment with them to get just the right amount of each. After years of practice I think I finally have a blend I like. Not too much ginger. A littl emore cinnamon, but not too much. Very little cloves. Nutmeg about half as much as cinnamon. oooo and please forgive my use of the frozen crust, it's what I had on hand. :-(

I remember a pie I saw at a bizarre once. There were so many cloves in it the pie was actually green! Ack!

The most important thing I would say about pumpkin pie is: Make it the day before you want to eat it. The flavors must marry and give a full bloom. If you eat the pie the same day, they're barely acquainted! Let it sit over-night and get very acquainted and enjoy it like an old friend. Let it waft over you, a heady mixture of smell and flavors that take you back. Old friends are there, family, that silly brother of yours extolling the virtue of a sage dressing versus a fruited one. A feeling of closeness and home; crunchy leaves, cold air that freezes as you take it in; a feeling of gratitude, so real that it brings tears to your eyes as you think of it.

Wow. Didn't know pumpkin pie could do so much, did ya? Well, years of baking and good memories are in every one of my pies.