Sky High Pumpkin Pie

Sky-High Pumpkin Pie - Candy Coated Culinista

Sky-High Pumpkin Pie – Candy Coated Culinista

Meringues drive me crazy argghhh. I have made meringues about a half dozen times now, once for Christmas, twice for a Pavlova I was making just to ensure these things would turn out properly for the actual recipe and then with my beloved favourite treat the macaron. The problem is my meringue seems to have no lift when it comes to baking it; and for this recipe I was supposed to make it using the Italian method of beating a hot syrup mixture into the eggs whites. Maybe it was the humidty or the light rain outside but it just didn’t work for me and I felt as deflated looking down at my soupy mess. In that moment I decided to make meringue the only way I know how that has had some success; the French way. This method turned out great and I was happy I had some height to my Sky-High challenge. I also got to use my kitchen torch for the first time; as I decided to buy one a year back when I was making crème brulee and I had to brulee the things in the broiler (an experience I’d prefer not to enjoy again.) Here is my picture on the Chatelaine gallery.

From Chatelaine

Yield/Serving: 1 pie
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 90 min
Difficulty level is: Medium

For Crust
• 2 cups gingersnap crumbs
• ¼ cup unsalted butter melted
For Filing
• 5 egg yolks
• 2 cups pure pumpkin puree
• ¾ cup coconut milk
• ½ cup brown sugar
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• ¼ tsp salt
• 1/8 tsp ground cloves
• 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
For Candied Pecans
• 1 cup pecan halves
• 1 tbsp granulated sugar
For Meringue
• ¾ cup granulated sugar
• ¼ tsp cream of tartar
• 5 eggs whites

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Have a 9” pie plate at the ready.
2. Stir gingersnap crumbs with butter in a medium bowl until moist. Press crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of pie plate. Bake in centre of oven, covered with foil, for 10 min.
3. Whisk egg yolks in a large bowl. Add pumpkin, coconut milk, brown sugar and spices. Whisk until mixture is smooth. Pour filling over warm crust. Smooth top.
4. Bake in centre in centre of oven, covered with foil for 30 min. Remove foil and continue baking until filling slightly jiggly in the centre, about 20 more min. Transfer to rack to completely.
5. Toast pecan in a medium non-stick frying pan set over medium for 3 min. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp granulated sugar. Stir constantly until sugar is melted and pecans are shiny, 3 to 5 more min. Transfer to prepared baking sheet to cool.
6. Preheat broiler. Combine ¾ cup granulated sugar with ¼ cup water and cream of tartar in a medium saucepan and set over medium-high. Simmer until sugar is dissolved and mixture turns syrupy. Remove from heat. Beat egg whites on high in the bowl of a stand mixer, until soft peaks form when beaters are lifter, about 2 min. Slowly pour hot syrup in a stream down the side of the bowl, beating until stiff peaks form, about 2 more min.
7. Spread meringue on pumpkin pie to the edges, leaving a high mound in the centre. Using the back of a spoon form swirls on meringue.
8. Broil meringue in centre of oven, rotating every 30 sec, until peaks turn golden brown, 2 to 3 min. Let cool. Garnish with pecans. Serve warm or cold.

• I couldn’t find gingersnap cookie crumbs; so I bought the cookies and beat them with a rolling pin in a ziplock baggie until they became crumbs. My cat and Mr. C. was wondering what I was doing making all this noise and beating things around.
• I used ground ginger instead of ground cloves.
• For my French meringue use: 2 egg whites and 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar. You can batch up this recipe to 5 egg whites and 2.5 cups of confectioners’ sugar if you like. This is a good alternative if it is a humid or rainy day out or if you’re like me and Swiss or Italian meringue is a challenge for you to make.
• With the left over egg yolks, make an omelette.
• Since pumpkins are in season, you can make you pumpkin puree by hand. Cut pumpkin in pieces, remove the seeds and roast in a pan covered with foil at 400°F until tender. Then remove from skin and blend in a food processor, blender or use an immersion blender until smooth.

Please Enjoy

Mr. C. loved it and asked for another piece later the same night. “The crust was amazing and use the gingersnap crust the next time you make a pie please.”
My neighbour and the two construction workers working on his house stopped and admired my pie from up on the deck as I did my photo shoot and said “whatcha got there C? Oh I love pumpkin pie and is that meringue” I love when men know their food; it makes me so happy. I will be making a pie for them soon; maybe this week even.

My thoughts
Besides my issue with the dreaded meringue it turned out well and is the perfect fall recipe.

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