In the United States we celebrate Christmas on 25 December but On 24 December, we open our homes to our neighbors and close friends to share (enjoy) warm Christmas drinks like mulled wine, the British version of Glühwein and hot chocolate and a cornucopia of amazing desserts. Many my Mom would make but also many were brought by our culturally diverse neighbors. We would have cookies from Italian neighbors, typical Japanese treats from another and then Christmas cookies like gingerbread men, were made and decorated by the children.
In my family home, pumpkin pie was always available from the very first signs of Autumn. My Mother would bake them for our Thanksgiving meal as well as Christmas because it was so beloved by all.
I have found that you can substitute butternut squash and other locally available pumpkins for this recipe and all other ingredients are also easy to find in German shops as well as online.
1 pumpkin, (about 4 pounds), halved,
1 1/2 recipes Pate Brisee
All-purpose flour, for work surface
7 large eggs
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
2 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups evaporated milk
Whipped cream, for serving
1 Preheat oven to 425 degrees. If using fresh pumpkin, roast pumpkin, cut sides down, on a rimmed baking sheet until soft, 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool completely. Roasted pumpkin can be refrigerated in an airtight container overnight.
2 Reserve 1/4 of the dough for making leaf decorations. Turn out the remaining dough onto a lightly floured work surface; divide in half. Roll out each half into a 14-inch round. Fit rounds into two 10-inch pie plates; crimp edges as desired. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes.
3 Roll out reserved dough to 1/8 inch thick. Transfer to a baking sheet, and freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. Using a leaf-shape cookie cutter or a paring knife, cut leaves from dough. Freeze until cold, about 10 minutes.
4 Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Whisk 1 egg and heavy cream in a small bowl; set aside. Brush edges of pie shells with a wet pastry brush; arrange leaves around edges, pressing to adhere. Brush leaves with egg wash. Cut 2 large circles of parchment; fit into pie shells, extending above edges. Fill with pie weights. Freeze until cold, about 10 minutes.
5 Bake pie shells 10 minutes. Remove weights and parchment; bake 5 minutes more. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
6 If using fresh pumpkin, discard seeds. Scoop out flesh using a large spoon; transfer to a food processor. Process until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer pumpkin to a large bowl. Add brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, nutmeg, remaining 6 eggs, and evaporated milk; whisk until combined.
7 Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Place pies on a rimmed baking sheet. Divide pumpkin mixture evenly between shells. Bake until all but centers are set, 35 to 40 minutes. Let pies cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into wedges, and serve with whipped cream.
American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).