Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mash-up: Pumpkin Cannoli Pie with Gingersnap Crust

 Happy Almost Thanksgiving, all! What are your favorite Thanksgiving desserts? Mine is not pumpkin pie. I want to love pumpkin pie, really I do, but I'm underwhelmed by it. In previous years, we've made pumpkin spice creme brulee, and pumpkin cannoli. I got it in my head that a gingersnap crust would harmonize with a pumpkin pie, so I thought I'd give it a go, and sought out a recipe. I also remembered how yummy the pumpkin cannoli were, so I thought I'd incorporate those too.

The "mash-up" in this recipe comes from the combination of two recipes. The gingersnap crust recipe comes from Martha Stewart, the pie recipe comes from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook by Marion Cunningham, and the cannoli portion is from me.

While whipping up this pie, I listened to: Death Cab for Cutie

Pumpkin Cannoli Pie with Gingersnap Crust (makes 1 9-in pie)
For the crust:
  • 1 3/4 C gingersnap crumbs (use a food processor)
  • 1/4 C packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp butter, melted 
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine the gingersnap crumbs, sugar, flour and salt and mix well. Add butter and continue to mix until well combined.
2. Press crumb mixture, evenly, into a 9 inch pie plate, covering the bottom and sides. Place in freezer for 10 minutes.
3. Bake until crust is set, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely before completing pie.
    For the filling:
    • 1 C sugar
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
    • 1/2 tsp cloves, ground
    • 15 oz can pumpkin
    • 1 1/2 C evaporated milk
    • 1/2 C milk
    • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
    1. Preheat the oven to 300. Combine all above ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until very smooth. Pour the mixture into the pie crust. Bake for about 1 hour or until filling is firm.  Allow to cool before adding cannoli topping.
      For the cannoli topping:
      • 1/2 C canned pumpkin
      • 1/2 C fresh ricotta
      • 1/4 C confectioner's sugar, sifted 
      1. Do not prepare until just ready to serve the pie. Combine the pumpkin, ricotta, and sifted confectioner's sugar in a medium bowl. Beat until smooth, roughly the consistency of heavy whipped cream. Spread over the pie with a rubber spatula.  

      Kitchen Notes: Combining 2 baking recipes can be challenging, especially for me, a not very proficient baker. The crust is very thick, there's no concern for the bottom falling out. The original pie recipe calls for an unbaked crust, which requires initially cooking the pie at 425 then dropping the temp down to 300. Cooking consistently at 300 for a longer period of time did not negatively affect the pie. The pie filling recipe makes too much filling, so I filled two little ramekins with the excess and garnished them with gingersnaps:

      This crust is only going to be as good as the gingersnaps used. I used Trader Joe's triple ginger, and they were awesome. Also, as I believe I mention in my previous cannoli posts, key lime cannoli and cannoli with blueberry sauce, don't beat the ricotta with a whisk. a fork works great, and just think of all the extra pie you can eat with the calories burned from whipping the mixture with a fork.

      Verdict? The flavor of the crust with the pumpkin filling is awesome, and the pumpkin cannoli cream is, dare I say it? A welcomed alternative to whipped-cream. This pie was super yummy, but it needs to be tweaked a bit. I'll work on the spices some, and the crust needs to be crispier, but I'll definitely give this one another go.

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