Thursday, November 27, 2008

Twofer One (TWD)

This week's Tuesdays with Dorie (TWD) recipe was chosen by Vibi of La casserole carrée: Thanksgiving Twofer Pie. As I was flipping through the book, I couldn't help but also notice the Caramel Pumpkin Pie that follows the Twofer Pie. I love caramel. So I decided to make both :) So in this week's TWD installment, you get twofer one ;)

The Thanksgiving Twofer Pie is part pumpkin pie, part pecan pie. Dorie describes the two fillings as melding in the oven "into a combo-filling, creamy on the bottom, sweet and crunchy (but not typically pecan pie soft) on top."

The only major problem I had with my pie was that there was too much filling. I used a standard 9-inch pie dish and I had to reserve about 1/4 cup of the filling, or else it would have spilled over while baking. I know some TWD bakers had problems with their crust browning too much, but I used my pie crust shield during the last 30 minutes of baking and it came out perfectly. I did encounter the same issue that many had in that I had to bake mine longer than the indicated time - I had to bake my pie for an additional 10 minutes. The key to knowing when it is done (aside from the knife test) is to wait until it is nice and puffed in the center.

I can't attest to the taste of this pie, because I didn't have any (I don't like nuts). Those who had a slice seemed to enjoy it though. Look at the wonderful caramelized, sugary crust that formed on the top of this pie...

The Caramel Pumpkin Pie was very simple to make, but the caramel part can be tricky. The problem with caramel is that there's a very fine line between "deep amber, mahogany" and brown, black, and burnt.

Even though I've made caramel several times in the past, I still had to make this twice because I burned the first batch. The sugar started to caramelize and became smoky very quickly, and before I knew it, it was a very dark brown. I put a small bit on a spoon and tasted it, and it was bitter. So I dumped it out, rinsed the pan, and started over. The second time around, I was more careful with the sugar and was able to get it to just the right stage of caramelization.

The caramel added a nice flavor to the pumpkin pie. The rum was a nice addition as well, but if you don't have any on hand, you can just omit it. I really enjoyed this pie; I don't think I'll ever go back to making plain old pumpkin pie.

I had hoped to post this before Thanksgiving, so you could use these recipes, but unfortunately I had to work up until Wednesday evening and just couldn't get it in. There's no rule stating you can't have pumpkin after Thanksgiving, though, so if you're a pumpkin fan, you should give these a try.

Thanks Vibi, for choosing the Twofer Pie. It was perfect for Thanksgiving! You can find the recipe for the caramel pumpkin pie below. If you would like the recipe for the Thanksgiving Twofer Pie, you can find it here (with recipe tips here). Make sure you visit the TWD Blog Roll to see how everyone else enjoyed this unique Thanksgiving treat!

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving, full of holiday cheer, wonderful memories, and of course... lots of good food! :)

Caramel Pumpkin Pie
from Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan

1 9-inch single crust made with Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough, partially baked and cooled (recipe below)

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons dark rum, cognac, or apple cider
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
tiny pinch of ground allspice
pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs

Lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving

Getting Ready:
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the pie plate on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the sugar evenly over the bottom of a large nonstick skillet. Place the skillet over medium-high heat and staying close by, cook until the sugar melts and starts to color. Once you see a little color, gently swirl the skillet so that the sugar colors evenly. Cook the sugar, without stirring, until it turns deep amber--almost mahogany. The sugar will bubble up and foam and soon it will start to smoke. It is very dramatic, and it might make you think you've gone too far, but you want a dark (though not burned black) color; the darker the sugar, the fuller the flavor. When the bubble shave gone from foamy to big and fat, you will probably have reached the right color. To check the color, drop a bit of the caramelized sugar on a white plate.

Lower the heat to medium, stand back and pour the cream into the skillet. The sugar will bubble and hiss and, if the cream was cold, it may even clump. Just continue to cook, stirring, and it will even out. Add the rum (or cider) and butter and cook just until the caramel is smooth. Pour the caramel into a heatproof pitcher or bowl and cool it for about 15 minutes.

Working with a whisk in a large bowl, beat the pumpkin to break it up and smooth it. Add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and beat to blend. Whisk in the spices, salt, vanilla and eggs, beating until the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the caramel. Rap the bowl against the counter a few times to de-bubble the filling, then pour the filing into the crust.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the filling is puffed and set--tap the pan gently and the filling won't jiggle. A thin knife inserted into the center of the pie will come out clean--it also leave a gash in the filling, but you'll be covering it with whipped cream.

Transfer the pie to a rack and cool to room temperature, or cool and refrigerate. When you are ready to serve, spread the lightly whipped cream over the top of the pie. If you'd like a dressier look, whip the cream until it is firm, put it into a piping bag fitted with a start tip and pipe rosettes over the surface of the pie. Alternatively, you can pipe the cream in a lattice pattern.

Playing Around:
Streuseled Caramel Pumpkin Pie

Pecan Streusel

To add a little crunch to this dessert, bake the pie for 10 minutes, then scatter chunks of pecan streusel over the top and finish baking.

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped pecans
2 tablespoons cold butter

Mix until crumbly. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough
For a 9 inch Single Crust

1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 ½ sticks (10 tbsp) very cold unsalted butter, cut into tbsp size pieces
2-1/2 tbsp very cold vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
About 1/4 cup ice water

Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse just to combine the ingredients. Drop in the butter and shortening and pulse only until the butter and shortening are cut into the flour. Don’t overdo the mixing- what you’re aiming for is to have some pieces the size of fat green peas and others the size of barley. Pulsing the machine on and off, gradually add about 3 tablespoons of the water- add a little water and pulse once, add some more water, pulse again and keep going that way. Then use a few long pulses to get the water into the flour. If, after a dozen or so pulses, the dough doesn’t look evenly moistened or form soft curds, pulse in as much of the remaining water as necessary, or even a few drops more, to get a dough that will stick together when pinched. Big pieces of butter are fine. Scrape the dough out of the bowl and onto a work surface.

Divide the dough in half. Gather each half into a ball, flatten each ball into a disk and wrap each half in plastic. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour before rolling (if your ingredients were very cold and you worked quickly, though, you might be able to roll the dough immediately: the dough should be as cold as if it had just come out of the fridge).

To Roll Out the Dough:

Have a buttered 9 inch pie plate at hand.

You can roll the dough out onto a floured surface or between sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap or in a rolling slipcover. If you’re working on a counter, turn the dough over frequently and keep the counter floured. If you are rolling between paper, plastic or in a slipcover, make sure to turn the dough over often and to life the paper, plastic, or cover frequently so that it doesn’t roll into the dough and form creases.

If you’ve got time, slide the rolled out dough into the fridge for about 20 minutes to rest and firm up.


  1. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. That pie is stunning!! And too much filling, you say?? No such thing, in my opinion!! :-D

    Happy Thanksgiving, Jaime!!

  3. Wahhhhaaaawooo! What a great looking pie! Too bad you didn't get to taste itm though! I do have to admit, I also, would have been very tempted by the caramel one... hummm...
    But thank you nevertheless Jaime, for participating with me this week!
    A very happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  4. Mmmm! I really wanted to make that caramel pumpkin pie too - it looks great! Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Both pies look great! Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. They both look absolutely fabulous! Great job. Yum- I ate way too much pie!

  7. Lovely pictures of both pies! Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. Your pies are beautiful - hope you had a good thanksgiving!

  9. Both pies look GREAT! Way to go the second mile and make two!

  10. I'm so impressed! Great job!

  11. hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving jamie! the pies look great!

  12. Both of those look wonderful! So pretty. I hope your Thanksgiving was enjoyable!

  13. Great looking pies, Jaime. The Twofer turned out well, and I'm really glad you previewed the caramel pumpkin. I'm still a little traumatized from caramelizing sugar two weeks in a row for TWD last month, but some day I will be ready to tackle hot sugar again!

  14. I saw the caramel pumpkin pie and struggled between switching out the twofer pie for caramel pumpkin but in the end I decided to be a good little TWD baker and stick to the schedule. I should have did what you did and made them both! HAHA. Happy (belated) Thanksgiving to you and your family!
    Clara @ iheartfood4thought

  15. I ve never made pumpkin pie but this surely is tempting me. Looks great. It s not common pumpkin pie here unlike in the States :)

  16. Both of your pies look great, good work! I was tempted by the caramel pumpkin pie too but didn't get around to making it yet.

  17. good caramel = delicious. burnt caramel = dreadful. it's hard to believe there's such a drastic difference between the two, and it only takes a matter of seconds. :)

  18. Great job on both pies! I want to make the Caramel Pumpkin pie. Glad to know its good!