Pumpkin Pie with Ginger Crust

Photos by Liz Banfield

I am not one to deny food pleasures. But I do realize that ALL pleasure without restraint can be painful. If I eat too many muffins I develop doughy-soft muffin tops that spill over the waistline of my jeans.

However, the holidays are fast approaching and I intend to eat my way through them. Starting with the Knock-Your-Socks-Off Pumpkin Pie. The recipe is from a family of organic dairy farmers in Wisconsin run by 6 sisters, ages 11 through 19. Yup. The Holm Girls Dairy is run by a bevy of diversely talented young beauties who happen to be farmers who get up at dawn and work ’til the cows come home. (The dairy is part of the Organic Valley co-op.)

And they have fun while doing it. I spent some time with the family when they celebrated a harvest feast. It was crowded around the farm table, but that’s what keeps the family close.

The whole Sibling Revelry story is in Organic Gardening magazine and includes other recipes you might want to make room for on your holiday table. But this pumpkin pie recipe with its fresh ginger crust and streusel-pecan topping is not to be missed. (The girls top the pie with freshly whipped cream with cinnamon.)

FYI: I do go into holiday-eating training mode starting…TODAY. I lighten up on most meals so I can indulge a bit when the occasion presents itself. Made veggie-laden beef barley soup last nite. (Stand by for that recipe.)

Knock-Your-Socks-Off Pumpkin Pie

Ginger Pastry (recipe below)

1 15-ounce can organic pumpkin

1 1/3 cups heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup sugar

3 eggs

3 tablespoons honey

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

Streusel Topping

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. On a floured surface, roll Ginger Pastry into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. Trim pastry to 1 inch beyond pie plate. Fold edges under crust. Crimp decoratively, forming high-standing crust (about 1/2 inch above rim of dish). Freeze for 15 minutes.

3. Line crust with foil and then fill with pie weights (dried beans work well). Bake crust 10 minutes. Remove foil and beans and bake another 10 minutes or until crust is set and light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

4. In a large bowl whisk together pumpkin, cream, sugar, eggs, honey, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and salt until thoroughly combined. Pour into pre-baked piecrust.

5. Bake pie for about 50 minutes or until it begins to set. Remove from oven and let pie stand for 10 minutes to set slightly. Meanwhile, make Streusel Topping. Sprinkle topping over pie. Return pie to hot oven. Bake for 10 to 20 minutes more or until pie is set and streusel is golden brown.

Makes 1 (9-inch) pie

Ginger Pastry

1 1/3 cups flour

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons fresh ginger root, minced

¼ teaspoon allspice

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup cold unsalted butter

1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons ice-cold water, plus more as needed

1. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, minced ginger root, allspice, and salt.

2. Using a pasty blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.

3. In a small bowl combine egg yolk with 2 tablespoons water.

4. Add yolk mixture to flour mixture; toss with a fork until mixture forms moist clumps. (Add additional water, 1 teaspoon at a time, if dough is too dry.)

5. Form dough into a ball and flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 to 24 hours. Allow dough to sit at room temperature about 10 minutes before rolling into a piecrust.

Makes 1 (9-inch) piecrust

Streusel Topping

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground ginger

3/4 cup pecans, chopped

1/3 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped

1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter

1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, and ground ginger.

2. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans and crystallized ginger. Sprinkle topping over pie before baking.

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