Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tarte a la Citrouille

Sometime before Thanksgiving I found this recipe for French pumpkin pie-- Tarte a la Citrouille. With lots of little a dashes and accent pieces on letters that I don't necessarily know the short keys for, and am not very willing to get out my character map to do them. Sorry, blog readers, I'm a little lazy aboout accent marks. I hope you can all forgive me. But believe me, if I were writing it in script and I knew them all by heart, I would make sure to mark them down-- I believe it could change the word otherwise. Luckily I'm pretty sure google knows what I'm talking about, so you can google it and voila!

I got really excited about this -- I love, love pumpkin pie and really wanted to make it for Thanksgiving, but something seemed strange and exciting about making a French version.
The French version wasn't that much different. The one I had found had a little less sugar and no spices, it was also in metrics-- so I had to convert the metrics over to what I understand (also, I don't have a kitchen scale anymore), which did involved looking up other recipes. Still, I'd say that this pumpkin pie was a bit smoother and less thick than the American version. Not quite as sweet, though I added spices to give it more of the punch that I really, really appreciate this time of the year. It'd be like drinking chai without the spices-- then it's just a sweet tea latte.
Maybe I should make a chai pumpkin pie next year. Hmm, cardamom....

I made fresh whipped cream to go around the edges-- and I'm pleased to say it was a hit. We had a huge potluck at my roommate's place, and Brian and I also went to a potluck up in Van Nuys at a friend of his place. The food there was excellent-- one of the friends was an excellent cook. I happened to make my marbled mashed potatoes which is a hit every year with everyone. Brian made green bean cassarole. Yes, the kind from the can-- and it was amazing. I helped him spice it up a little, but I gotta admit, I like a few things from the can. Like green bean cassarole. Or cranberry sauce.

Though I'll take the non can version of either, of course.

It was definitely an excellent pumpkin pie. I even got to use my leftover frozen pumpkin puree (it's old, I need to use the rest of it-- gonna try to make some pumpkin bread!! I haven't made it in ages.)

Tarte a la Citrouille
Recipe inspired from a number of sources, but mainly from Foodbeam

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon butter

2 eggs
1/3 cup raw sugar
1/8 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
seeds from half a vanilla pod

Oven at 325 Fahrenheit.

Whisk pumpkin, spices, sugars, vanilla beans and extract. Add eggs. Whisk in heavy cream. Pour into blind baked pate sucree. Bake for 45 minutes.

Pate Sucree

3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tsp brown sugar
1/4 cup ground almonds
seed from 1/2 vanilla pod
1 egg
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt

Cream butter. Mix in sugar, ground almonds, vanilla seed. Mix in eggs. Mix in flour and salt until just incorporated.

Form a large ball with the dough and gently press them down, wrap them in cling wrap and refrigerate overnight (or up to two days).
Roll the dough between two sheets of baking or waxed paper. Cut into a disk an inch or so larger than your tarte pan. Refrigerate for at least two hours.
Line the pan with your pate sucree. Place it on top of the tarte pan and press down and into the folds, pinching slightly with your fingers. If you have a fluted tarte pan as I do, its about making sure it fills the gaps. Chill for an hour.
Remove from the refrigerator line with baking powder, fill with dried beans or rice. Bake at 350 Degrees Farhenheit for 17-25 minutes then remove the paper and bake for another 3-5 minutes until nicely coloured.

Allow to cool before filling.

And here's some photos from our Thanksgiving!

Brian, Vicky (one of my three roommates), and I are eating Jeff's ham. I should say DEVOURING Jeff's ham. It was very good. My pie is in the corner-- Brian is like, framing it with his hands.

This is the hand turkey I made. The one on the right. I called her 'glamour turkey'. She's got nail polish and everything. Hah!

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