At the grocery store this week, I saw that the November 2012 issue of Martha Stewart Living is already on newsstands. I looked down at my cart full of ingredients for pumpkin pie and dreamed of having a pie that was so evenly golden and covered in fluffy meringue.
Well, my version did not turn out as pretty as Martha’s, but it got a big thumbs up on taste. Since it’s the season for all things pumpkin, I thought I would share two easy secrets to take your pumpkin pie to the next level.
Pumpkin Pie Secret #1: I use the recipe on the back of the Libby’s Pure Pumpkin can. I know. You’re thinking “What?! That is not a secret!”
Here’s our family tip. For each of the spices, instead of measuring them out precisely, I use heaping measurements. That extra spice really sets off the pumpkin flavor and takes your pie from good-but-maybe-bland to second-serving-needed-now-delicious.
Pumpkin Pie Secret #2: Find some autumn leaf cookie cutters. You can get a set of 6 Leaf Cookie + Crust Cutters at Sur La Table for $4 or find small leaf-shaped cookie cutters like the Wilton set pictured above at the craft store. Whether you are making your own pie crust or using a store-bought one, I think the trickiest part is getting a pretty edge when you roll the crust into the pan. Rather than fiddle with the crust, trying to get it even and pretty, I like to cover up the crust with the leaf shapes. My sister does the same and shows you how on her blog.
It sounds like an extra step, but I find it less stressful than trying to get a nice edge. Of course, we could create that gorgeous twisted shape on the Martha cover if we were baking pies once a week, but at least in my world, I am not. Each year when it’s time to make pumpkin pie, I find I am out of practice… again!
What about you: do you have any pie baking tips?