Homemade Pumpkin Pie (and Miette – a brief review)

28 Dec

So I know that I’ve told you about my love of pie, but I’m not sure I’ve mentioned much I love pumpkin pie. Or pumpkin bread. Or pumpkin beer (or all things pumpkin, really). This pumpkin pie is outstanding and the homemade pumpkin puree truly makes it extra special.

On another note, I’ve decided to experiment with cake baking – or rather, cake decorating.  I recently bought the Miette cookbook.  Besides being an absolutely gorgeous book, replete with scallop-edged pages and stunning photography, it provides detailed instructions for recreating the small cakes from the Miette, the San Francisco based bakery.  There are tips for leveling cakes, cutting layers, and making frosting even, or textured when appropriate.  It shows you how to make a gorgeous, shiny ganache coated cake. Best of all, it shows you how to make your cake so beautiful people will be briefly hesitate to cut into it. For the first time, I feel like I might actually be able to make my cakes look truly beautiful.  Thank you, Meg Ray, for making me believe that with the right tools, I can make cake masterpieces too.

I went out (read: went to Amazon) and bought some of the tools needed to make the cakes.  The tool that seems to be most crucial for cake decoration is a rotating cake plate, which allows for even (perfect) application of frosting (along with some 6 inch cake pans, of course).  I am so excited for my order to arrive so I can try out a cake (to share with you of course).  Look out for my cake baking action and a giveaway….


1 cup packed light-brown sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 ½ cups fresh Pumpkin Purée , or canned

3 large eggs, lightly beaten, plus 1 egg for glaze

1 ½ cups evaporated milk

1 pie crust

1 tablespoon heavy cream


Preheat oven to 425°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, pumpkin purée, and 3 eggs. Beat well. Add evaporated milk, and combine. Set aside.

Roll crust into a 12-inch circle, between two pieces of plastic wrap. Fit pastry into a 9-inch glass pie plate; trim dough evenly along edge, leaving about a 1/2-inch overhang. Pinch to form a decorative edge. If the dough begins to soften, chill for 15 minutes.

For decorative flair, cut out a few leaf shapes with excess dough pieces, using a pairing knife or pie crust cutters.  Put the leaves on a small plate and freeze.

Beat the remaining egg, and combine with heavy cream. Brush the glaze very lightly on edges of pie shell. Fill pie shell with pumpkin mixture. Transfer to prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°, and continue baking for 45 minutes more, or until set (it will be mostly still when you lightly jiggle it).  You can use a crust guard or ring of foil if crust starts to get too brown . (or much longer) Cool on a wire rack. Bake leaves for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown and gently place them in the center of the cooling pie.

Barely adapted from Martha Stewart


One Response to “Homemade Pumpkin Pie (and Miette – a brief review)”

  1. Rhiannon January 4, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    I can think of a good upcoming opportunity to try out your new skills (BTW, I have lots of nifty baking/decorating tools I’d happy to contribute to the effort!)

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