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Today: Tara O'Brady has created a subtler take on pumpkin pie and livened it up with chai spice.
I prefer a pumpkin pie that is subtle in its spice and sugar, with a creamy and tender filling, against a crust that has both flake and crunch. I’m lucky to have a friend in Nikole Herriott (of Herriott Grace), who likes that kind of pie as much as I do, so we paired her photographs with my recipe for one of our favorite versions.
We used the pastry dough from my upcoming cookbook, and a filling inspired by the spices used in Indian spiced tea, masala chai. The combination is only a bit of a departure from traditional pumpkin pie, but enough of a change to count. Adding crème fraîche to the roasted pumpkin keeps things velvety, and straightens up the sweetness.
I usually serve pumpkin pie with some whipped cream that's folded through with just enough maple syrup to take off its edge, but If in the mood for true gilding, I’ll serve it with a Black Tea Caramel -- heady with Darjeeling and cardamom, it completes the whole masala chai thing the pie has started.
More: Learn the finer points of making your own squash purée.
For the crust as shown you will need almost enough dough for a double-crusted pie for the bottom pastry and braid. Use a wash of an egg beaten with water to affix the decoration to the rim before blind baking.
If there is any concern about the amount of filling -- if it’s creeping up to the point where it might overflow -- bake any extra in a buttered ramekin alongside the pie. As soon as it swells in the center, it’s done, and then there’s the bonus of a cook’s (or in this case, baker’s) treat.
Chai Masala Pumpkin Pie
Makes a 9-inch pie
Butter, for greasing the pan
Single-crust pie dough, plus extra if you want to make a braid
3/4 cup crème fraîche
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground clove
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
15 ounces pumpkin purée (see note)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar, light or dark, packed
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (I prefer grade B)
1/2 teaspoon medium-grain kosher salt
3 eggs, at room temperature
See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.
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Photo by Nikole Herriott
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