Sunday, September 21, 2014

Dutch Pumpkin and Apple Pie

The last two pumpkins in the pantry started to go soft.  I was going to make a pie once the pumpkin tamales and danish were gone.  This just bumped up the project a few days.

The main reason this is a Dutch crumb pie is because I had a store-bought crust in the freezer and didn't want to make a top crust.  It never matches the bottom, so I'd really have to make a two-crust pie from scratch.  Didn't feel like it.  Since I usually put oatmeal in my crumb topping, this pie now qualifies as breakfast.  Oatmeal, apples, pumpkin, and just barely enough sugar to make it sweet.  Ok, and everything in the crust and crumb that make this fattening.

After cooking up half a dozen pumpkins over the past month, I realized that a significant amount of what I consider to be "pumpkin" aroma is actually the cloves.  So there's a lot of ground cloves in this.  I also finally realized that these fruits have basically the same anatomy as melons, and peeled using the melon method.  Worked just fine, but it was slightly harder to remove the seeds when cut across the equator than through the stem.

I went all crazy with the cutting gadgets.  Since I was going to use the apple corer/slicer for the apples, I wanted the pumpkin to be sliced just as pretty.  There's a thing called a Wonder Slicer that you can set to various thicknesses for perfect slices.  I can't find a left-handed one in stores.  I know they make them, because we have one at work, but the brand I've linked you to is very expensive and I don't feel like paying that much for a gadget when I have another one that does the same thing.  I've never used the cheaper brand on Amazon, so I won't endorse it.  Instead, I got out the mandoline.  Slightly more dangerous, but not as dangerous as me using a right-handed knife.  That's how I ended up in the E/R last year holding part of my thumb together.  Very important to use the correct knife for your dexterity.

I've also been flavoring the roasted seeds from each pumpkin in a different way.  The first batch, I did my standard chili flavor from the posted recipe.  Later on, I did some with cumin.  They're ok.  These last two, I put a lot of dried sage on them.  They're so outstanding, I think I'm going to make my own stuffing this year instead of buying it, just to put them in as the nut.  That is, if there's any left by November.

For pie
Crust for one-crust pie
1 small pie pumpkin (about 2 lbs)
2 Granny Smith apples
1 Tb lemon juice
1/2 C brown sugar
2 Tb flour
*1 tsp cinnamon
*1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt
*1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 Tb butter

For Crumb
1/4 C flour
1/3 C instant oatmeal
1/4 C brown sugar
*1/2 tsp cinnamon
*1/8 tsp cloves
1/4 C shortening, chilled

1. Peel pumpkin and remove seeds.  Core apples.  Slice both fruits thinly (botanically, pumpkin is a fruit) and cut into bite-sized pieces.  Toss with lemon juice to keep apples from browning and to heighten the fresh flavor.

2.  Separately, combine brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and nutmeg.  Preheat oven to 375º.

3.  Place pie crust on a rimmed baking sheet.  You may also want to line the sheet with foil, in case something drops on it or the juices overflow.  Distribute half of the filling around the bottom of the pie crust.  Sprinkle with half of the sugar mixture, then dot with 1 Tb of the butter.  Repeat with other half of filling, sugar, and butter.  Yes, the pie will be mounded up and almost overflowing the crust.  The fruits are also largely water and will bake down considerably.
4.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, until filling is clearly cooking and the sugar is starting to bubble in the juices.  While that's happening, mix the crumb topping.  Stir together all the dry ingredients, then cut in shortening until it forms a pasty crumb.  Put it back in the fridge until needed.

5.  Remove pie from oven and cover with crumb.  Use all of it.  Just keep sticking it back on.  Return pie to oven and bake until everything is bubbly together and the crumb is nicely browned, another 20-30 minutes.  It will be easier to slice if you wait until it has completely cooled, or even the next day after it has been refrigerated.
Serves 6 to 8

Difficulty rating  :)

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