thanksgiving pumpkin pie / by lana pribic

I love this talk that Susan Cain gave on the power of the introvert. My friends are always surprised when I tell them I have a huge introvert side of me. "BUT Lana! You are so outgoing, and loud, and social! You're not quiet and shy!" they say. Sometimes I am these things. But other times, this girl needs to spend all afternoon in the kitchen baking a pie.

But anyways. You guys! I made pumpkin pie this year, something that was in my kitchen bucket list since I first fell in love with the contraversial desert (love it? hate it?). Everyone loved it (except for a certain 12 year old who wasn't easily convinced that real, um, non-starbucks pumpkin flavour is amazing).

Almond Meal Pumpkin Pie with Creme Fraiche and Whiskey Whipped Cream

Ratios and method for the crust adapted from Ratio by Michael Ruhlman.
I will not go through the process of explaining what I did for the pumpkin filling below, as I basically followed Deb's instructions with a few minor alterations: 2 cans of organic pumpkin instead of the yams, 2 eggs instead of 3, 1/2 cup of heavy cream instead of 1, 1/2 cup of sugar instead of 3/4. The result just what I wanted: hella decadent and creamy, mildly sweet and authentically pumpkiny.

For the Crust:
6 oz almond meal (about 1 ½ cups)
6 oz whole grain spelt flour (about 1 ½ cups), or all purpose flour
8 oz (1 stick, or ½ cup) almost frozen butter
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tbls natural cane sugar (optional)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
all purpose flour, for dusting

Whipped Cream:
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup creme fraiche
2-4 tbls irish whiskey 
2 tbls powdered sugar
2 tbls maple syrup

For the Crust:  Place a large, preferably metal, bowl in the freezer. Cut the butter into cubes and place into freezer. If available, use a scale to measure out your flours by weight. Combine flours with sugar and transfer to the bowl in the freezer.

Once about five minutes have passed, take out the flour and butter. Work quickly to cut the butter into the flour with a pairing knife. Once all the butter is in, rub the mixture between your fingers until there are a lot of pea sized chucks of butter floating around in there. Place the bowl back into freezer for a few more minutes. Meanwhile, beat an egg with the vanilla and put a few ice cubs in a cup of cold water.

Add in the salt and egg mixture and very gently toss the batter into itself until the egg is well combined. Add 2 or 3 tbls of cold water initially and continue tossing the mixture. The dough should come together very quickly, but add another tbls or two of water if needed. I needed only 3.

Gently roll the dough into a ball and cut into two equal sized parts. Place each one into a large ziplock bag, squeezing the air out. Use a rolling pin to roll out two thick disks. Place in fridge for at least 15 minutes. Can be prepared in advance overnight.

To roll the dough out, generously dust a surface with all purpose flour (not spelt). Use a wooden rolling pin to gently roll out dough, working quickly. Lift off the surface and place into 10.4" pie dish.


For the whipped cream: Pour the whipping cream and creme fraiche into a high speed mixer. Let it do its thing for a few minutes, until a thick whipped cream has formed. Sift in the powdered sugar and give it another whirl, 30 seconds. Add the whiskey and maple, whirl until combined.