You’ve partied with Oogie Boogie Meringue Cookies. You’ve sipped tea and nibbled Nightmare Before Christmas Sugar Cookies with your pinky out. You guiltily crammed an entire Jack Skellington Whoopie Pie in your mouth (though you might have redeemed your social graces enough with this fandom tea, courtesy of CuppaGeek). You socialized with Sally’s Blueberry Scones.The time has finally come for Pumpkin King Pumpkin Pie.
So it has finally come down to this: Halloween Week. The final Nightmare Before Christmas tea party recipe. Today I present you with the king of all pies: Pumpkin King Pumpkin Pie! Did you think you would make it out of here without encountering pumpkin spice?! This recipe combines the ‘tried and true’ (my grandmother’s spicy pumpkin pie filling recipe) with the ‘fresh and innovative’ (a buttery, flaky pie crust recipe developed by a friend in culinary school). I must confess: This is the best pumpkin pie I have ever tasted. I do not say such things lightly. A couple of talking points before you read about me cursing at baking supplies:
First order of business: Have you voted for November’s Featured Recipe yet? You are eligible to vote once every 7 days and the poll will be running until November 1st at dawn. Make your vote count now.
Second order of business: This pie crust recipe was gifted to me by a good friend of mine, Luna. She’s absolutely fantastic and deserves full credit for getting me through this with minimal issues. She is also thus far the only person who will give me shit for weird culinary stuff I do and gives great feedback. Stay tuned for a quick interview with her. I promise it’s interesting and funny and she totally fits in here.
Ready? Let’s go.
Gamers, grab your mats:
PIE CRUST (makes two crusts):
Disclaimer: All of these ingredients must be AS COLD AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. I even put the butter, shortening, and vodka in the freezer for ~30 minutes before making.
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, cut into small cubes
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup vodka (I used Pinnacle Whipped (whipped cream flavored) Vodka. Why? I had it on hand and there was no way I was about to buy more vodka when we barely drink, period.)
SPICY PUMPKIN PIE FILLING (conveniently also makes two pies):
Another Disclaimer: This recipe makes one metric butt-ton of filling, and I’m even scaling it down. For the love of all that’s holy, make two 10″ pies.
- 1 large can of unseasoned pumpkin
- 1 `/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt.
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 4 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 can evaporated milk (Did you know you have to shake the can? Hilarity ensues.)
- 2 cups milk
You will also need: Black decorating icing.
Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl:
Rub in butter and shortening cubes quickly, with as little contact as possible. Make sure the fat doesn’t start softening. The end result should look like coarse cornmeal.
If the mixture is lumpy, try rubbing the stuff between your palms gently and quickly. This should really only be a last-resort thing.
Mix water and vodka.
Sprinkle water/vodka mixture over sand/whatever mixture slowly with a spoon.
Stir/fold mixture with a spatula or wooden spoon. It should form a dough that sticks together in one piece.
Divide dough into two balls and flatten into disks. Wrap in cling wrap and chill in the fridge for at least two hours. If you’re an overachiever, overnight is fine too.
When you’re ready to bake, dust work surface and dough lightly with flour.
Roll dough out as thick or thin as needed. You can pick up the dough by wrapping the dough around your rolling pin and slowly unrolling over your pan.
Bonus stage: Shriek and curse wildly as your rolling pin unrolls the dough in midair and you catch the dough haphazardly over one arm. Shit.
Gently press down the dough to fit according to your pan. Cut off the edges by pressing dough against the edges of the pan.
Luna: Or just slam your chopping board on the thing.
Me: …Sounds like someone got angry once.
Luna: I wasn’t angry, just stressed out. 😄
Now you can shape the pie edge however you want by pinching with your hands. I made the mistake of cutting the crust too close and it kinda shrunk into the pan. Dammit. I’ll do better with the next one, I promise. Poke holes in the base with a fork. I forgot this part but got lucky. Basic reading skills = 0, apparently. Double dammit.
Cut a piece of foil or parchment according to the base of your crust and place it on top. Fill the top with a handful or two of rice or dried beans.
NOTE: The dough should be ice cold before putting it in the oven or it will puff up. I tossed mine in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to be safe.
Bake crust at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes. Remove parchment and rice/filler and bake for an additional 5 minutes. The base should be dry and yellow-ey and the edges should be light brown.
Right, filling time. Crank your oven up to 450 degrees F. Combine all dry ingredients in one medium bowl and beat eggs in another bowl.
In a gigantic bowl (preferably one that has a lid if you’re only making one pie at a time) combine pumpkin and evaporated milk:
Whisk eggs in until just combined:
Next dump in your dry ingredients and whisk well.
Pour in milk and stir/whisk/whatever until fully combined.
Pour filling into pie crust. Also, there’s this thing where you shouldn’t consume raw eggs. Well. Honey badger didn’t give a shit and sipped two spoonfuls of delightful filling from the bowl anyway. Honey badger regrets nothing.
Bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees F. After 15 minutes set oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 45 minutes. Do not stick face in oven to sniff the wonderful smells coming out of the oven. You’ll probably burn your face and that’s kinda weird.
What’s with the dark edges, you may ask. Well, if we’re being transparent… I might have baked the pie crust ~5-7 minutes too long in the beginning stage (long story), and the crust shrinking into the pan (again, my fault) caused the filling touching the pan to get dark. I’m not going to say burnt because, really, it’s not. There’s this saying in baking:
“There’s no such thing as an ugly dessert, only rustic.”
LOVE MY STUPID, RUSTIC PIE.
When the pie cools, slap Jack’s face on it. I would recommend doing this about an hour before you plan on serving. Using black decorating icing with a #5 tip, do something like this:
Fill in the eyes (it involves a bit of ‘scribbling’ with a toothpick), then make the stitches on the mouth. Switch to a large star tip and pipe star icing dots around the border. If you have white decorating icing or whipped cream you can accent the pie with that, too. You’re done!
Do you hate yourself for making the whole thing from scratch? Cut yourself a generous slice of pie and take a bite. Go on, I’ll wait.
Good, isn’t it? Best you’ve ever had, I’ll bet. There’s a reason for that…
The Mastermind Behind the Crust
SuS: Welcome to Skill Up Skillet! Tell the internet a little bit about yourself.
Luna: I’m Luna, Malaysian. Culinarian in training? I don’t know how to describe myself, not exactly a chef, not exactly a Food & Beverage manager either.
SuS: How did we meet?
Luna: We met way way back when I was still a runt. We were fans of a website called MINDistortion, which had a lot of Flash animation and art. We met on his forum, along with others.
SuS: Poor Manny (the site creator, Manuel Fallmann). Do you have a favorite video game? A favorite food?
Luna: I love games but I prefer watching other people play games than playing them myself. I don’t really have a favourite game and I love all food.
SuS: What do you want to get out of your culinary training?
Luna: I honestly don’t know. I’m at that point where I’m trying to make a decision on what to focus on. I major more on the management of food service… Restaurants, hotels, mass production, stuff like that. Hell, I can even work in a lab or hospital. The epitome of a Jack of all trades. If I lived any nearer I’d be your blog partner by now…
Hopefully I haven’t let Luna down too badly. And hopefully you enjoyed this post! What was your favorite Nightmare Before Christmas themed recipe?
Coming Up Next: Mississippi Quantum Pie from Fallout. Come see me at the Bridgewater Falls (Fairfield, OH) Gamestop for the midnight release of Fallout 4!
Remember, cooking IRL doesn’t have to be a Feat of Strength!