AUTUMN LEAF PUMPKIN PIE (for ten)
2 rolled out rounds basic pie dough
4 whole eggs plus 2 egg yolks
2-1/2 cups pumpkin puree
¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup milk
1-1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon brandy
lightly sweetened whipping cream for serving
1. Transfer one of the dough rounds to a 9 inch deep-dish pie dish. Trim edges, leaving ½ inch overhang. Fold under excess dough and, using your thumb, decoratively flute the edges. Using a fork, gently prick holes in several places on the bottom of the crust.
2. Using decorative pie crust cutters or a sharp paring knife, cut out leaves or other desired shapes from the remaining dough round.
3. In a small bowl, beat 1 of the eggs. Brush the edges of the piecrust with the beaten egg, then arrange some of the cut leaves on the edges, pressing them gently so they adhere. (Save the remaining egg wash) Place the remaining cut outs on a baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to bake.
4. Freeze the pie shell for 15 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, position a rack in the lower third of an oven. Place a baking sheet on the rack and preheat the oven to 400*.
6. Line the piecrust with parchment paper or aluminum foil and fill with pie weights. Place the pie dish on the preheated baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the parchment and weights and bake until the crust is light golden brown, about 5 minutes more. Transfer the piecrust to a wire rack and let cool completely, about 30 minutes. (Leave the baking sheet in the oven.) Reduce oven temperature to 375*.
7. Meanwhile, make the filling. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Add flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves and whisk until smooth. Add remaining 3 eggs and egg yolks and whisk until combined. Add the cream, milk, vanilla and brandy and whisk until smooth. Pour the filling into the cooled piecrust.
8. Place the pie dish on the preheated baking sheet. Bake until the filling is set, about 1 hour and 15 minutes, covering edges of the crust with foil if they get too brown. Transfer the pie dish to the wire rack and let the pie cool completely, 4 hours, before serving
9. While the pie cools, bake the decorative cutouts. Brush the cutouts lightly with some of the beaten egg. Bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool.
10. To serve, decorate the top of the pie with the decorative cutouts as desired. Cut into slices and serve each with a dollop of whipped cream.
from the Williams Sonoma test kitchen