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New Hampshire : Pumpkin Pie
In the annals of pie history, New England holds a special place.
A moment in pie history: Pumpkin pies and Thanksgiving dinner at the home of Mr. Timothy Levy Crouch, a Rogerine Quaker living in Ledyard, Connecticut. Photo by Jack Delano, 1940. Photo courtesy Library of Congress.
Pumpkin pie might not have happened without New England, where rhubarb pie is revered in the springtime. In New England’s Little Canadas, Franco-Americans celebrate the Christmas holidays with spiced meat pies called tourtiere. Vermonters favor maple pie, and Boston is the birthplace of the Boston Cream Pie — which really isn’t a pie, but then again neither is Maine’s official state treat, the Whoopie Pie.
The New England Historical Society interviewed Cox about his book on pie history. He has also written about New England chowder and cranberry culture.
For the pastry:
- Basic pie pastry, enough for a 9-inch pie
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon full-fat coconut milk
For the filling:
- 2 cups pumpkin purée
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Whipped cream, to serve
For the pastry:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the dough out and press it into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate, using the palms of your hands to ensure the crust is even throughout. Press together any breaks in the dough. Crimp or flute the edges with your fingers. Keep any leftover pie pastry to decorate with.
Cut a round of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the crust. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes.
Bake the pie shell for 10 minutes. Remove the weights and parchment paper, and bake for 5 more minutes, until the crust is golden. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
Roll out the leftover pie pastry between two sheets of parchment paper. Use cookie cutters to cut into shapes.
Make egg wash by mixing the egg yolk and coconut milk. Brush onto the pastry shapes. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until the shapes are golden. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Place the pie shell on a rimmed baking sheet and brush the edges with the remaining egg wash.
For the filling:
Whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, coconut, milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, lemon zest, and salt. Pour the filling into the prepared pie shell. Bake for 15 minutes. Cover the crust with foil and continue baking for 20 minutes, until the custard has set but still jiggles slightly in the center. Turn off the oven and leave the pie in the oven, with the door slightly open, for 30 minutes.
Cool at room temperature on a wire rack. Place the decorative cut-outs around the perimeter of the pie. Place the pie in the refrigerator to set fully, about 2 hours. Serve with whipped cream.