Friday, December 2, 2011



     I have a tendency to adore people I do not know. Give my heart to them and feel like I could follow them around just to listen to them talk. Like Anthony Bourdain (travel channel host? majorly awesomely awesomeness? I've talked about him before? Go watch his show already!). He probably doesn't even like his twenty-year old girl fans. They are probably not people he can talk to his wife about. How do celebrities do that? "Hey honey, there is this twenty year old girl who wants to follow me around everywhere." Would Anthony Bourdain's wife feel compelled to hit him with a frying pan? Or maybe she's just chill with it now.

     But, I suppose I will never get to follow him around. In fact, that would probably be creepy for everyone concerned. Just like if I offered to follow Ian McKellen around. Or, more relevantly, Joy the Baker or Deb from Smitten Kitchen. Which is really what this post is all about. Not...that I really have the chance to meet them. No, not that *shakes head sadly.* And that just made what it is about so anticlimactic: which is nothing more than the fact that I commented on the Smitten Kitchen Blog and Deb replied! And then I totally skipped around the kitchen. And everyone else who knows that she replies to a ton of comments is looking at me skeptically - but it is good to be happy about little things! Isn't it? Especially if being happy about the fact that one of your idols thought you had a really good idea about her recipe inspired you to actually make said recipe?

     So, what this boils to is that I made the most awesome pumpkin pie ever for thanksgiving as inspired by Deb's Baked Pumpkin and Sour Cream Puddings. It was....perhaps not the most beautiful pie: it was not bright orange, it was not too tall. But, my family sure ate it fast - for dinner, breakfast, lunch, and every time they passed it on the kitchen counter. Probably because, though rich, it doesn't taste too rich at all. Instead it is pure fall comfort- all gingery gingersnap crust and cinnamon and nutmeg and pumpkin, with that layer of sour cream on top (Deb's genius) giving just the right tang-- also giving the ability to eat more and more because the sweetness of the filling never gets the chance to overwhelm you like regular old pumpkin pie used to do to me. Obviously, regular old pumpkin pie is not something I plan to go back to.

Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen 

For the Crust

32 Regular Gingersnap Cookies OR 1 pack Anna's Ginger Thins (the kind you get at IKEA)
1/2 Stick of Butter (i.e 4 tbsp), Melted 

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Break your gingersnap cookies up with your fingers into the food processor, then grind them to a fine crumb. You should get about 1 1/2 cups of crumbs. Next, add the melted butter and run the food processor until the cookies are moist. You may need a little extra butter. Then, press the crumb mixture into the bottom and along the sides of an 8 in (if you want a taller pie) or a 9 in pie pan or glass dish (like I used). Make sure there are no holes in the crumb crust, and press it down firmly so it doesn't crumble. When finished, put the pan on a rimmed baking sheet.   

For the Filling

1 15 oz can Pumpkin Puree
3/4 cup Brown Sugar 
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
1/2 tsp Salt
3/4 cup Milk (I used 2%)
3/4 cup Light Cream
2 large Eggs, beaten together lightly

In a food processor, blend the pumpkin, sugar, salt, and spices for about 30 seconds. Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan at medium-high heat, until it begins to simmer. Then, cook it for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Once the mixture has thickened and gotten slightly darker, reduce the heat to medium-low and whisk in the milk and cream slowly. Once they have been combined, take the saucepan off the heat and whisk in the eggs. Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Bake the pie on the rimmed baking sheet for 50 to 60 minutes, until the middle does not shift too much when the pie is moved.

For the Topping 

1 cup Sour Cream
1/2 tbsp Granulated Sugar 
1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract

While the pie is baking, mix together the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla extract in a small bowl. After the pie is done, take it out and quickly use a spoon or spatula to spread the topping in a thin layer over the entire pie. Don't worry if it starts melting a little, just get all the topping on. Once the pie is covered, place it back in the oven on the baking sheet for 7-8 more minutes. Then, take it out and allow it to cool to room temperature for 2-3 hours, so the filling can set. Cut and eat!

Also! Look at my beautiful sparkly blue nail polish! Double awesomeness.

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